Metro Manila was the big winner at the 2013 Moet British Independent Film Awards with three awards given on Sunday night. Julie Walters received the Richard Harris Award for outstanding contribution by an actor to British film.
The big win for Metro Manila will come as a relief and delight for filmmaker Sean Ellis, because the director re-mortgaged his home to help fund the production. The film, which is the UK entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars, was rewarded for the Best Achievement in Production, Best Director as well as the highest honour of Best British Independent Film.
Apparently he was inspired to write Metro Manila, after witnessing an intense argument between two security truck drivers during a holiday in the Philippines in 2007. Three years later he returned to shoot the film, with dialogue all in Tagalog, a language he does not speak. Upon accepting the top prize on Sunday night, he said, “It’s such a long journey we’ve had with this film with such humble beginnings. I feel very honoured.”
In other areas, James McAvoy was named Best Actor for his role in Filth. The actor, who likened the win to Scotland winning the World Cup, plays Bruce Robertson, an abusive, bigoted and drug-taking policeman. Meanwhile, Lindsay Duncan won the Best Actress accolade for Le Week-End. She portrays a 63-year-old, who travels with her husband to revisit their honeymoon destination of Paris on their 30th wedding anniversary.
Captain Phillips director Paul Greengrass was given the Variety Award, which recognises an actor, director, producer or writer who helps focus the international spotlight on the UK.
“[British filmmakers] are in demand across the world,” he said.
Perhaps the biggest smiles of the night were for Julie Walters though, who was presented with the Richard Harris Award for outstanding contribution. Walters, who’s breakout film role was in 1983’s Educating Rita has gone on to play a plethora of iconic roles, including Mrs Wilkinson in Billy Elliot, Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter series and Annie in Calendar Girls. She’s had roles in films like Mamma Mia, Gnomeo & Juliet, Becoming Jane and will be playing Mrs. Bird in Paddington Bear’s big screen debut.
Other films which made the grade this year include Blue is the Warmest Colour (Best International Independent Film), The Selfish Giant (Technical Achievement) and Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer (Best British Documentary).
See the full list below:
Best British Independent film – Metro Manila
Best International Independent film – Blue is the Warmest Colour
Best British documentary – Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer
Special Jury Prize – Sixteen Films and Friends
Best British Short – Z1
Best Actor – James McAvoy
Best Actress – Lindsay Duncan for Le Week-end
Best Supporting Actor – Ben Mendelsohn for Starred Up
Best Supporting Actress – Imogen Poots for The Look of Love
Most Promising Newcomer – Chloe Pirrie for Shell
Best Technical Achievement – Amy Hubbard for casting on The Selfish Giant
Best Achievement in Production – Metro Manila
Best Screenplay – Steven Knight-Locke
Best Director – Sean Ellis for Metro Manila
Richard Harris Award – Julie Walters
The Raindance Award – The Machine
The Variety Award – Paul Greengrass
The Douglas Hickox Award – Paul Wright for For Those in Peril