British Independent Film Awards BIFA

Celebrating 20 years of the best British Independent Film




Rowan Athale, Writer / Director

Rowan made his feature film debut with the acclaimed crime thriller The Rise, which was nominated for numerous awards, including the Douglas Hickox Award at the BIFAs, and Best Newcomer at the BFI LFF. Rowan wrote the screenplay for sci-fi thriller Revolt, which will be released in 2016, and has co-written Outside the Wire, which was featured on this years Brit List. Rowan has received several accolades as director and writer, including being named a Screen International Star of Tomorrow in 2011 and being named as a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit in 2013.


Simon Boswell, Composer

Simon Boswell‘s work has graced films by some of independent cinema’s great maverick directors, including Alejandro Jodorowsky, Dario Argento, Michael Hoffman, Danny Boyle and Richard Stanley. He has produced, amongst many others, Elton John, Dolly Parton, Marianne Faithful and Orbital. As a composer he is well known for combining electronic and orchestral elements. Simon has worked extensively in horror and fantasy cinema and was nominated for a BAFTA for Hackers and Hardware. 



Michael Caton Jones, Director

Michael Caton-Jones had directed his first feature, Scandal, in the late '80s. A compelling look at Britain's Profumo-Keeler sex scandal, it became an international hit resulting in numerous award nominations and wins. The exposure led to a demand for his talents in Hollywood, so he crossed the pond to direct features like Memphis Bell, Doc Hollywood and This Boy's Life. He returned to his roots in the mid-90s to film the story of Rob Roy, which won Tim Roth an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Michael has continued to work in Hollywood, directing films such as The Jackal, Shooting Dogs and Basic Instinct 2.


Ashley Clark, Journalist

Ashley is a film critic and programmer from London, now working in New York. He writes for Sight & Sound, The Guardian, Vice and Film Comment, among others, and has appeared as a recurring guest critic on the BBC Film show and BBC Radio 5 Live. His first book is Facing Blackness: Media and Minstrelsy in Spike Lee's BamboozledHe has curated film series at venues including BFI Southbank, Clapham Picturehouse and BAMcinématek, Brooklyn. Ashley also lectures on film journalism and programming at New York University and the BFI Future Film Festival.


Stephanie Collie, Costume Designer

Stephanie began her career as a Wardrobe Assistant and went on to work with Kenneth Brannagh as a Costume Designer on Peter’s Friends and Swan Song. She continued on to collaborate with numerous directors, including Guy Ritchie and Matthew Vaughn on Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and later worked with Vaughn again on Layer Cake. Her credits further include Nick Moran’s Telstar, Michael Winterbottom’s King of Soho and Peaky Blinders, for which she won the RTS Award for Costume Design. 


Amina Dasmal, Producer

Amina Dasmal studied film in Los Angeles and established Alcove Entertainment with Robin Fox in 2005. She produced Avi Korine and Richard Ayoade’s The Double, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska, directed by Richard Ayoade, whom she continues to develop projects with. She produced Harmony Korine’s award-winning Trash Humpers and Matthew Parkhill’s The Caller. Her first film, Cochochi, won the Discovery Award at TIFF together with many other debut awards around the world.


Mike Figgis, Director

From roots in experimental theatre and music, Mike Figgis has gone on to direct over 20 feature films and documentaries. He is recognised as a visionary filmmaker who thrives on taking artistic risks, moving from ‘mainstream’ movies such as Internal Affairs and the award-winning Leaving Las Vegas to more eclectic personal films such as Suspension of Disbelief. He was a pioneer in exploring the possibilities of digital video technology which led him to conceive of and direct Timecode the first real-time feature film ever made. In 2011 Figgis directed Lucretia Borgia for the ENO, the first Opera transmitted live in 3D. Mike teaches at several universities internationally and is currently working on a second book about screenwriting. This summer he took part in Doug Aitken’s Station to Station, a 4 week project at the Barbican, where he made a film in 4 days and edited it live on site at the Barbican.


Peter Firth, Actor

Award-winning actor Peter Firth is perhaps best known for his portrayal of the much loved Harry Pearce in long running BBC series Spooks. Also well known for his illustrious theatre career, Peter was nominated for a Tony for his performance in Peter Shaffer's Equus on Broadway. Peter then went on to star in the film adaption opposite Richard Burton, which won him both an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe. Upcoming projects include LD Entertainment's Risen, in which he plays Pontius Pilate, and the BBC's all-star Christmas drama Dickensian.


Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard, Artists

Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s first feature film 20,000 Days on Earth premiered at Sundance, winning the Directing and Editing Awards. They won the Douglas Hickox BIFA and were nominated for a BAFTA and Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary. Iain and Jane met and began working collaboratively at Goldsmiths College, and are renowned for their video and sound installations. Notable collaborators include Gil Scott-Heron, Scott Walker and Jarvis Cocker, as well as their ongoing working relationship with Nick Cave. Their artwork is collected by museums and institutions worldwide, including the Tate Gallery.


Romola Garai has been nominated for BIFAs, BAFTAs, Golden Globes and many more besides. Notable film credits include Suffragette, Junkhearts, Glorious 39, Atonement, Amazing Grace, Rory O’Shea Was Here, Nicholas Nickleby and short film Scrubber. On TV, she has appeared in The Hour, Crimson Petal and the White, Emma and Mary Bryant.



Jason Isaacs, Actor

Jason trained as an actor at the Central School of Speech and Drama and has rarely been off our screens in three decades. He has won or been nominated for countless awards and his film credits include The Patriot, Blackhawk Down, Armageddon, The End of the Affair, 9 Lives, Good (also as producer), Fury and the Michael Powell's award-winning Skeletons. In 2002 he first played the iconic deatheater Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, reprising the role in all the rest of the films. On UK television, he starred in Lynda LaPlante’s controversial PTSD drama Civvies, the Golden Globe nominated mini-series The State Within and two seasons of Kate Atkinson’s Case Histories. In the US, he starred in three seasons of the Peabody award-winning Brotherhood for Showtime, the existential detective series Awake (which he also produced) for NBC and the mini-series DIG from the creators of Homeland and Heroes. Over the last year he has made three films: oscar-nominated editor Saar Klein’s debut After The Fall, the Blacklist script Stockholm, PA and Gore Verbinski’s A Cure for Wellness. He also recorded the animated movie Happy Families with Emily Watson, Nick Frost and Catherine Tate. Jason has been an active advisory board member of BIFA for ten years.


Gemma Jones, Actor

Gemma Jones' career to date has been hugely varied and successful, bestriding film, TV and theatre. Her film credits include 3 Harry Potter films, Jane Eyre, Bridget Jones’s Diary and Academy Award-winning drama Sense and Sensibility. In 2011 she appeared as Queen Margaret opposite Kevin Spacey in Sam Mendes’ Richard III at the Old Vic. Last year, Gemma received the British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Mary in Marvellous. She can currently be seen acting opposite Richard Johnson in Tom Browne’s Radiator, and will be appearing in the third Bridget Jones film in 2016.


Rory Kinnear, Actor

Rory Kinnear is an award-winning British actor, perhaps best known for his role as Bill Tanner in the James Bond films Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre. Other film credits include Cuban Fury, Broken (for which he won the Best Supporting Actor BIFA), Wild Target and most recently The Imitation Game. Rory’s TV credits include The Casual Vacancy, Penny Dreadful, Count Arthur Strong, Southcliffe (for which he was nominated for a BAFTA), Black Mirror, Rupert Goold's Richard II and Lucan. Kinnear is also hugely respected for his theatre work, for which he has won many awards. Recent and upcoming releases include Man Up and Trespass Against Us. Rory is currently filming the next season of Penny Dreadful. 


David Livingstone, Producer

David Livingstone was President of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution at both Universal Pictures International and Working Title Films. During his career in London and Los Angeles, he was responsible for the worldwide marketing, advertising, publicity and promotional strategy for over 100 films including Four Weddings and a Funeral, Trainspotting, Billy Elliot, United 93, Johnny English and The Usual Suspects. He has now moved into production, with Pride as his first feature film. The film received seven BIFA nominations, winning Best British Independent Film and Best Supporting Actress for Imelda Staunton, and was also nominated for three BAFTAs and a Golden Globe. 



Kim Longinotto, Writer / Director

Kim studied camera and directing at England's National Film School, where she made Pride of Place, a critical look at her boarding school, and Theatre Girls, documenting a hostel for homeless women. She has since become known for her far-reaching, varied and impactful documentaries. Her first film in Japan, made in 1989, was Eat the Kimono, about the controversial feminist performer Hanayagi Genshu, followed up with an impressive slate including Dream Girls (1994), Shinjuku Boys (1995), The Day I Will Never Forget (2002) and Sisters in Law (2005), which won  two prizes at Cannes. Kim’s most recent work includes Love is All (2014), an archive film about love in 20th and 21st century UK films, and Dreamcatcher, which was released in January 2015.



Alice Lowe, Writer / Actor

Alice is a writer & performer on stage, TV and film, and has appeared in some of the UK’s most successful comedy exports. She began her work in theatre, working with future stars such as David Mitchell, Robert Webb and Richard Ayoade in productions such as Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, before finding great success in TV on shows like The Mighty Boosh, The IT Crowd and Black Books. Alice has also had successful career in film, setting up Jackal Films with Edgar Wright in 2010 and appearing in Hot Fuzz and The World’s End. In 2012, Alice Lowe co-wrote and co-starred alongside Steve Oram in Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers.



James Marsh, Director

James Marsh is a writer and director of both documentary and narrative feature films. His last film, The Theory of Everything, was nominated for 10 BAFTA awards, including Best Director and 4 Academy Awards, including Best Film. It won Best British Film at BAFTA and Eddie Redmayne won an Academy award for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking. His most recent feature documentary, Project Nimwon a Best Director award at Sundance 2011 and was short listed for an Academy award in 2013. His documentary Man On Wire won a total of 31 major awards around the world. 



Gugu Mbatha Raw, Actor

Gugu Mbatha Raw was one of this year’s nominees for the BAFTA EE Rising Star Award and was selected as a Star of Tomorrow 2008 by Screen International. Her theatre credits include Michael Attenborough’s Big White Fog and Gethsemane, directed by Howard Davies. She also starred as Ophelia opposite Jude Law in Michael Grandage’s Hamlet and most recently took the titular role of Nell Gwynn at The Globe. Recently, Gugu has been been recognized as an outstanding new film talent: in 2014 she won Best Actress and was nominated for Best Newcomer at the BIFAs for her role in Amma Asante’s Belle. Film credits in 2015 include the Wachowski’s Jupiter Ascending, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Peter Landesman’s Concussion. In 2016 she can be seen starring in Gary Ross’s The Free State of Jones.


Roger Michell, Director

Roger Michell has directed plays at the National Theatre, the Old Vic, Lyric Hammersmith, Donmar, Hampstead, Royal Court, Almeida, in the West End and on Broadway, and for six years he was resident director at the RSC. In the early ‘90s he began directing for the screen, and his work includes the award-winning mini-series Buddha of Suburbia, and feature films Persuasion, Notting Hill, Enduring Love and Morning Glory, amongst others. He has received many awards for his film work, including two BAFTAs, an Evening Standard Award, two EMPIRE Awards, a Critics’ Circle Award and accolades from festivals around the world.



Fabien Riggall, Founder: Secret Cinema

Fabien set up Future Cinema in 2005, aiming to create environments where the audience lives out a film in purpose-built sets. By 2007, Fabien’s ideas had evolved to become Secret Cinema, which has since expanded to house multiple strands under the umbrella Secret Group. Recent productions of Back to the Future and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back had record breaking numbers of attendees. In September 2015, Fabien set up #loverefugees, a movement to raise awareness of the plight of refugees globally, and installed a temporary cinema in the Calais refugee camp known as the Jungle.



Joanna Scanlan, Actor

Joanna is fast becoming one of Britain's best known actresses. She recently starred in Bad Education with Jack Whitehall and in Tulip Fever alongside Tom Hollander. Other film credits include The Testament of Youth, In The Loop, Notes On A Scandal and Girl With A Pearl Earring. TV credits include Rev, Getting On, The Thick Of It, Little Britain and the upcoming Fungus the Bogeyman. Joanna was nominated for the Best Female Performance BAFTA in 2010, and received another two nominations in 2011 and 2013 for her screenwriting in Getting On, in which she also starred. This year, Joanna wowed audiences in Channel 4’s hit show No Offence playing the lead detective Viv Deering. 



Gary Shaw, Cinematographer

Cinematographer Gary Shaw’s debut feature film Moon, directed by Duncan Jones and starring Sam Rockwell, rocked the BIFAs in 2009, winning a slew of awards. For his work on Ill Manors, Ben Drew’s (aka Plan B's) directorial debut feature film, Gary won Best Cinematography at Dinard Film Festival in 2012. Recently Gary wrapped Jason Connery's feature Tommy’s Honour, a period drama filmed on location in Scotland, starring Peter Mullan, Jack Lowden, Ophelia Lovibond and Sam Neill.



Catherine Shoard, Journalist

Catherine Shoard is head of film at Guardian News & Media and writes a weekly column for the comment section of the paper. Before she joined the Guardian in 2008 she was a film critic for the Sunday Telegraph and also wrote for the Sunday Times, Financial Times and Evening Standard. 



Rachel Tunnard, Writer / Director / Editor

Rachel Tunnard's short film Emotional Fusebox was nominated for a BAFTA and a BIFA, and she has just finished shooting her first feature film, How to Live Yours. Rachel is a BAFTA Brit to Watch, was on the Script Factory Talent List 2011 and nominated for a creative residency at The Hospital Club. As an editor, Rachel has cut award winning features and shorts, including BIFA and BAFTA nominated features Shell and Skeletons.  She has a second feature film in development with Film Four.



Emily Young, Director

Emily studied film directing at the Polish National Film School in Lodz, Poland, where she directed several short films including the award-winning Second Hand. She then went on to write and direct her first feature, Kiss of Life, winner of the Carl Foreman BAFTA award in 2004. She directed the adaptation of Paolo Coelho’s Veronika Decides to Die in New York (2009) and is now developing various features, including The Italian Chapel with Andrew Bendel producing, and Thief with Kees Kasander.