Benedict Cumberbatch to be honoured at the 17th Moët British Independent Film Awards

Thursday, November 13, 2014



London, Thursday 13th
November – The recipient of The Variety Award was announced today by Johanna von Fischer and Tessa Collinson, joint Directors, The
Moët British Independent Film Awards.

Benedict Cumberbatch will receive
The Variety Award at the ceremony on Sunday 7th December at Old

The Variety Award recognises a director, actor, writer or producer who has helped to focus the international spotlight on the UK. The Variety Award was bestowed on Paul Greengrass last year and has previously been awarded to Jude Law, Kenneth Branagh, Liam Neeson, Sir Michael Caine, Daniel Craig, Dame Helen Mirren and Richard Curtis to name a few.

The news coincides with the release of his latest film, THE IMITATION GAME which is nominated for four Moët
British Independent Film Awards: Best British Independent Film, Best Screenplay for Graham Moore; Best Actress for Keira Knightley and Best Actor for Benedict Cumberbatch. 

Cumberbatch commented: “I am delighted to receive this prestigious award and would like to thank Variety and The
Moët British Independent Film Awards for this incredible honour. It is made even more special by the recognition of THE IMITATION GAME in this year’s nominations, a film I am very proud to be a part of.” 

Cumberbatch is best known for playing the title role of “Sherlock
Holmes” in Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ stunning adaption of the Conan Doyle
books. It is a role that has earned him international acclaim and several
awards including an Emmy as Best Actor in 2014.

Benedict has recently portrayed Major Stewart in Steven Spielberg’s film
adaptation of WAR HORSE and the part of Peter Guillam alongside Gary Oldman,
Tom Hardy and Colin Firth in Tomas Alfredson’s TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY.

In 2011 Benedict returned to The National Theatre, alternating the roles
of creature and Dr. Frankenstein in Danny Boyle’s production of FRANKENSTEIN,
earning him a Laurence Olivier Award and an Evening Standard Award for Best

Cumberbatch’s incredibly powerful portrayal of Stephen Hawking, the
Cambridge Cosmologist in the BBC’s highly acclaimed drama HAWKING bought him to
the attention of an international audience and earned him his first BAFTA
nomination. His second BAFTA nomination came in 2010 for his portrayal of Bernard
in the BBC adaptation of SMALL ISLAND.

dastardly Herburt Marshall In Joe Wright’s Oscar-nominated ATONEMENT

Cumberbatch studied Drama at Manchester University before training at
The London Academy of Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Early TV roles included TIPPING THE
EARTH and THE LAST ENEMY. On stage there have been two seasons in Regents Park
with The New Shakespeare Co., Linsrand in Trevor Nunn’s production of LADY FROM
THE SEA; George in Tennessee Williams’ PERIOD OF
ADJUSTMENT; Teesman in Richard Eyre’s stunning West End ensemble production of HEDDA
GABLER, for which he received Olivier and Ian Charleston Award nominations;
Berenger in Ionesco’s RHINOCERUS; plus THE ARSONISTS and THE CITY at the Royal
Court. In 2010 he took the role of David Scott Fowler in Thea Sharrock’s,
National Theatre, award-winning Rattigan revival AFTER THE DANCE.

Recently Benedict starred in the BBC/HBO drama PARADES END earning himself
an Emmy nomination for Best Actor. Last year he played the role of the dragon
Smaug in Peter Jackson’s THE HOBBIT, Khan in JJ Abrams’ huge blockbuster STAR
TREK: INTO DARKNESS, Julian Assange in THE FIFTH ESTATE, Charles Aiiken in AUGUST:
OSAGE COUNTY and in Steve McQueen’s Oscar-winning 12 YEARS A SLAVE. A third
series of SHERLOCK aired earlier this year to record-breaking audiences.

During the summer Benedict has been filming BLACK MASS – playing Bill
Bulger alongside Johnny Depp – and Shere Khan in Andy Serkis’ JUNGLE BOOK. He
will be seen later this year in the DreamWorks animation PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR.

Benedict is currently filming THE HOLLOW CROWN II for BBC and Neal
Street Productions, in which he plays the legendary Richard III for director
Dominic Cooper and alongside Dame Judi Dench.

 Next he will shoot LOST CITY OF Z based on David Grann’s novel for
director James Gray, where he will play British explorer Percy Fawcett who set
out to discover the City of Z in the Amazon in the 1920s.

In 2015 as well as filming a new Christmas special of SHERLOCK he will
take to the London stage in the sold out West End
production of HAMLET to be directed by Lyndsey Turner at the Barbican Theatre.

This year’s nominations were announced on 3rd
November at St Martins Lane, London. The nominees for Best British Independent
Film were ’71; CALVARY; MR TURNER; PRIDE and THE IMITATION GAME. Leading the
charge this year is ’71 with nine nominations; PRIDE with seven nominations and
CATCH ME DADDY; FRANK and MR TURNER with five nominations each.


For the full list of nominations visit


year’s Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday 7th December at Old


Now in its 17th year, the Awards were created by Raindance in 1998 and set out to celebrate
merit and achievement in independently funded British filmmaking, to honour new
talent, and to promote British films and filmmaking to a wider public.


Previous winners of
the prestigious Best British Independent Film Award include METRO MANILA, TYRANNOSAUR, THE KING’S SPEECH, MOON, CONTROL, SLUMDOG


Proud supporters and patrons of
The Moët British Independent Film Awards include Mike Figgis, Tom Hollander, Adrian Lester, Ken Loach, Ewan McGregor,
Helen Mirren, Samantha Morton, James Nesbitt, Michael Sheen, Trudie Styler,
Tilda Swinton, Meera Syal, David Thewlis, Ray Winstone
and Michael Winterbottom.


The Moët British Independent Film
Awards would like to thank all its supporters, especially: Moët &
Chandon, 3 Mills Studios, BBC Films, M.A.C Cosmetics, Movado, Raindance, St
Martins Lane, Soho House, Swarovski, Variety, AllCity, Intermission.


Created by

Notes to the editor:

Moët & Chandon is the champagne of success and glamour since 1743.
Renowned for its achievements, firsts and legendary pioneering spirit, Moët
& Chandon is the Maison that introduced champagne to the world. Synonymous
with the most venerable of traditions and the most modern of pleasures, Moët
& Chandon has celebrated life’s most triumphant moments with grandeur and
generosity for more than 270 years.


The Champagne of Cinema

For nearly a century, Moët & Chandon has
celebrated the glamour and the red carpet magic of international cinema. The
Maison is a strong and long-time supporter of film awards and ceremonies, such
as the Golden Globes, and the International Film Festivals in Venice and San
Sebastian to name a few.


For press
information regarding The Moët British Independent Film Awards contact Emma
McCorkell or Caragh Cook at Organic:

+44 (0) 203 372 0976 / +44 (0) 203 372 0986

Images from the 2013 Awards ceremony are available
to download from


For press information regarding Moët & Chandon contact Anna Budel: 

+44 (0)20
7808 4458


For further
information on MBIFA, visit


For further
information on Moët & Chandon, visit


For further information on Raindance,


Rules & Eligibility:

All films
must be submitted for consideration by September 19th 2014. 

A feature
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 has screened at a British-based
film festival between 1st December 2013 and 30th November 2014.

there is any major studio substantially funding a film, the total budget must
not exceed $20M. Films are not defined as “independent” strictly on the terms
of financing.

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 AND includes sufficient
creative elements from the UK

A feature
film must be no less than 70 minutes in length.

that have been entered previously are not eligible. Re-issues of previously
released films are not eligible.

British Feature Documentary. In 2003 the British Independent Film Awards
introduced this new award. Eligible films must be non-fiction. They should
be photographed in actual occurrence, or employ partial re-enactment, stock
footage, stills, animation, stop-motion or other techniques, as long as the
emphasis is on fact and not on fiction. (Further eligibility criteria as with
other feature films above).

International Independent Film. BIFA also consider foreign independent
films. Foreign films must have a British theatrical release during the
eligibility period stated above

The Douglas Hickox Award
is to be given a British director for their debut feature film. The estate of
Douglas Hickox shall present a cheque for £500 to
the winner. 

Short Film Award submissions: Any British short film that has been accepted as
part of the Official Selection at one of BIFAs recognised film festivals [See] OR has won an award during the eligibility period. Any
variations are at the sole discretion of BIFA. A short film must be no longer
than 40 minutes (including credits).

eligible films submitted for consideration will be viewed by the BIFA
Pre-Selection Committee.  Members vote by secret ballot firstly to draw up
a long list then again to determine the nominations. All nominated films are
then viewed by an independent Jury appointed each year. The winners are
announced during the evening of the Awards Ceremony.  [See Voting Policy]

Special Jury Prize will be decided entirely at the Jury’s discretion.

The Variety
Award recognises an actor, director, writer or producer who has helped to
focus the international spotlight on the UK 

Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Film by an Actor
(male/female) to be decided by the Advisory Committee with the input of the
Harris family.

exceptional circumstances, 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.


decisions made by BIFA and its members are final and no correspondence will be
entered into as to why particular entries were or were not nominated.

See more at:



For further
information on MBIFA, visit

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