2006 New Patrons Announced 9th British Independent Film Awards

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Ray Winstone and Tilda Swinton back the BIFAs

Actors join as new patrons, while Johanna von Fischer and Tessa Collinson take the helm of British Independent Film Awards.

BIFA is delighted to announce that Ray Winstone and Tilda Swinton have become official patrons of the British Independent Film Awards. They will join the prestigious list of other patrons including Mike Figgis, Tom Hollander, Ken Loach, Ewan McGregor, Samantha Morton, Bill Nighy, Trudie Styler and Michael Winterbottom. They are two of Britain’s finest acting talents and are proud supporters of British Independent film and the opportunities it affords British talent. “I am seriously proud to be on board as a patron for the British Independent Film Awards. I’ve been involved since the very first ceremony and their commitment to highlighting British talent is refreshing and vital. I’m excited to help ensure that the energy and anarchy of true British filmmaking is always evident at the BIFAs” says Ray Winstone.

In its ninth year, the British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs) have established themselves as one of the most important awards ceremonies in the British film industry. BIFA honours the best and brightest film talent, acknowledging independent films that are majority financed by British resources.

Nominations and this year’s jury will be announced on 25th October 2006 in central London. The much anticipated awards ceremony will take place on 29th November 2006 at the Hammersmith Palais in West London.

The BIFAs are now under the newly appointed directorship of Johanna von Fischer and Tessa Collinson who have jointly been involved with the running of the Awards since its inception in 1998. They say, “We are really excited that the BIFAs are now regarded as the kick-off to the international awards season which culminates in the BAFTAs and Academy Awards in the Spring. The BIFAs also have a real purpose to promote British Independent film talent to an ever growing audience worldwide.” Founder Elliot Grove is delighted with the progress that BIFA has made and more than happy with its two new directors. “I am proud to have created the only true indigenous independent film awards in Britain back in 1998. The time is now right for BIFA to stand on its own and grow under the capable hands of Johanna and Tessa who between them have worked with me since the beginning”. Elliot Grove

Last year The Constant Gardener impressed the jury chaired by Michael Kuhn, garnering awards for Best British Independent Film, Best Performance by An Actor for Ralph Fiennes and Best Performance by An Actress for Rachel Weisz. Keira Knightley was also among honourees collecting a Variety UK Personality of the Year award at the ceremony in West London.

A film will be eligible for an Award if:

• It is intended for theatrical release, and has had a public screening to a paying audience either on general release in the UK or at a British-based film festival between 1st December 2005 and 30th November 2006.

• It is not solely funded by a single studio OR has a budget of £8M ($15M) or less.

• It has been produced or majority co-produced by a British company OR is in receipt of at least 51% of its budget from a British source or sources OR it qualifies as a British Film under the DCMS guidelines.

• When the majority of finance has come from a British source the film must also include sufficient creative elements from the UK.

• BIFA also consider foreign independent films for the Best Foreign Independent Film category. Foreign films must have a theatrical release during the eligibility period stated above.

• Films that have been entered previously are not eligible.

Inclusion and consideration of films which do not strictly comply with the above criteria will be subject to the discretion of the British Independent Film Awards Advisory Committee.

All films submitted for consideration will be viewed by the Advisory Committee with the help of a nominated screening panel. The Advisory Committee will then decide the nominations by ballot.

All nominated films will be viewed by the Jury.

For more information on BIFA rules please go to www.bifa.org.uk.

For further information, please contact Thomas Bunn or Nick Rogers at Mission on 020 7491 6680 or email nick@mission-media.co.uk

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