The Best of British: Films nominated for BIFAs, BAFTAs and Oscars, 2015-2016

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

It’s February, meaning that film awards season is drawing to a close. Awards traditionally take place between November to February, with BIFA at the start of the season on December 6th and BAFTA and the Oscars rounding everything up on February 14th and 28th respectively.


For those who like to keep a keen eye on the top talent in the film world, this timeline creates a handy sort of funnel from BIFA to the Oscars: from the best of British indie films to the best from around the world. Frequently there is plenty of crossover between the BIFAs, BAFTAs and Oscars, a testament to the prestige and power of the British film industry and to the accuracy and experience of the BIFA voters, who often pick out the year’s best films and talent long before the voting processes of the later ceremonies.


2015 was no different, with many of the winning and nominated films and talent from BIFA going on to gain BAFTA and Oscar nominations. We’ve taken a look at the nominees of all 3 ceremonies to discover the most talked-about British films of the year – check out our diagram below:


*This diagram excludes short films. Short films Edmond (by Nina Gantz) and Man O Man (by Simon Cartwright) were both nominated for a BIFA and a BAFTA.


British films with nominations in all 3 ceremonies are Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years, Asif Kapadia’s Amy, Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, John Crowley’s Brooklyn and Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl, while British films nominated for BIFAs and BAFTAs include The Lobster, The Survivalist and A Syrian Love Story. International films nominated for BIFAs and BAFTAs or Oscars include Carol, Force Majeure, Son of Saul and Room.


Here are the films nominated across all 3 ceremonies:


The Early Bird

A common complaint about awards shows is that they can tend to overlook films released earlier in the year. A film released in March 2016, for example, will have so many other films come between it and the Oscars ceremony in February 2017 that it will be forgotten and not even get a nomination. This is supported by studies that show that most award-winning films are released between October and December.


Because BIFA takes place early in the awards season in December, it does the important job of reminding the film industry of films released earlier in the year, buoying the chances of those films through the awards season. BIFA voters watch and discuss every single entered film, regardless of release date: they work in subgroups assigned to each category, seeing every film, recommending films to each other and giving every entry full and proper consideration. Examples of early-release films that did well at BAFTA and the Oscars after BIFA wins include This Is England (released April 2006), Moon (July 2009) and Broken (March 2012).


This year, the big beneficiary of this ‘reminding’ service was Alex Garland and Ex Machina, who picked up 4 awards at BIFA 2015 including ‘Best British Independent Film’, ‘Best Director’ and ‘Best Screenplay’. The film is nominated for ‘Outstanding British Film’, ‘Best Screenplay’ and ‘Best Debut’ at BAFTA, as well as ‘Best Original Screenplay’ at the Oscars and a slew of performing and technical awards. Best of luck to them!


We will update this article with winners from the BAFTAs and Oscars over the next few weeks – come back to see how the accolades match up!


Watch the BIFA nominees and winners online here:


Not had enough of top British indie films? Take a look at our article 12 Brilliant British Films We Didn’t See at BAFTA.

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