British Indie Film Awards: Fiennes and Branagh to be honoured

Kenneth Branagh and Ralph Fiennes are to be honoured at the British Indie Film Awards next month.

There is no denying the impact Ralph Fiennes and Kenneth Branagh have had on British cinema, and now they are to be honoured at the British Indie Film Awards for their contributions.

Ralph Fiennes will receive the Richard Harris Award for contribution to British film by an actor. John Hurt, David Thewlis, Jim Broadbent and Daniel Day-Lewis are all previous winners of the prize, with Fiennes’ Harry Potter co-star Helena Bonham Carter winning the award in 2010.

Kenneth Branagh on the other hand is set to receive the Variety Award for focusing the international spotlight on British cinema, an honour which has previously been won by actresses Helen Mirren and Keira Knightley, author JK Rowling, screen writer Richard Curtis and actors Michael Caine, and Michael Sheen.

So what have they done to deserve the honour?

Ralph Fiennes got his first TV role in the original Prime Suspect in 1991. After a few minor roles he was cast in 1993’s Oscar-winning Schindler’s List. He played the Nazi commandant Amon Goeth, a role which earned him a well-deserved Oscar nomination. He has worked solidly ever since, taking roles in films like: The Constant Gardener, In Bruges, The Duchess and The Reader.

Despite a long and varied career, Fiennes is now possibly best known for his role as the nose-less Lord Voldemort in the enormously popular British blockbuster franchise Harry Potter. Now he has taken his talents behind the camera, having recently made his directorial debut with the feature, Coriolanus in which he also stars. We can’t think of an actor who hasn’t yet received the award who deserves it more, with his engaging and often frightening performances.

Kenneth Branagh on the other hand is a highly appreciated and renowned Shakespearean actor, both on stage and screen. He has brought many of the bard’s plays to the big screen, including: Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet and Othello. To date he has directed and starred in 14 titles. The most recent, Thor gained much critical acclaim this year. He also had a scene-stealing role in the second Harry Potter movie as the vain professor, Gilderoy Lockhart.

With a career like his, both on and off camera, Branagh is a fine example of an actor who is the driver of his own projects, and it doesn’t look like he’ll be slowing down any time soon.

In other areas of the awards show, three films are dominating the BIFA. Shame, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Tyrannosaur each have seven nominations this year. Whoever the eventual winners are, it looks like it is going to be a competitive night.

The British Independent Film Awards, will be held in London on the 4th December 2011

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