Dame Judi Dench and Stephen Graham are among the top nominees at the British Independent Film Awards (BIFA).
Dame Judi has been given the green light for her supporting role in Belfast – Sir Kenneth Branagh’s autobiographical film about his childhood in Northern Ireland, which tops the awards with 11 nominations.
She is joined by Caitriona Balfe, who is nominated for Best Actress, Ciaran Hinds for Best Supporting Actor and young Jude Hill, who gets a nod for a groundbreaking performance.
Stephen Graham is recognized for his role in the one-shot film Boiling Point, also with 11 nominations, where he plays a chef.
Ray Panthaki, Vinette Robinson and Lauryn Ajufo are also in the running for nominations for their roles in the film.
Director Philip Barantini told Sky News the film “took a lot of planning and a lot of blood, sweat and tears” to make, adding that they’ve shot the film four times.
Paying homage to leading man Stephen Graham, Barantini added: âHe’s amazingâ¦ because he’s so passionate and doesn’t put himself above anyone.
âSo we come in, he doesn’t want a trailer, he doesn’t want special treatment from anyone – he wants to be on the same level.
“For our film, it was a team effort, it’s a whole piece, and so he was a strong supporter of it.”
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Lauryn Ajufo, who is nominated for a groundbreaking performance, told Sky News that the film was “epic” and was “very intimidating at first”.
Ajufo added: “You got used to it sometimes and it was a lot of fun and everyone was great, super supportive.”
Boiling Point faces Ali & Ava, After Love, The Nest and The Souvenir Part II in the category best independent British film.
Balfe from Belfast faces Carrie Coon for The Nest, Claire Rushbrook for Ali & Ava, Joanna Scanlan for After Love and Ruth Wilson for True Things for Best Actress award, while Graham of Boiling Point competes with Riz Ahmed for Encounter, Adeel Akhtar for Ali & Ava, Jude Law for The Nest and James Norton for Nowhere Special for the best actor trophy.
Films After Love, Censor and The Souvenir Part II also won multiple nominations – all scoring nine nods each.
The awards were read at the Curzon Soho cinema in central London by Sex Education star Mimi Keene and former winner Samuel Adewunmi.
He told Sky News that independent films should be celebrated, describing them as the “heartbeat of British cinema”.
“We have to keep pushing it, we have to keep supporting it, we have to keep making sure that we encourage people to go to the movies to see them because that’s what matters most.”
Winners will be announced at a ceremony on December 5, while technical prize winners will be announced on November 19.