Lady Macbeth teaser trailer

Lady Macbeth topped the list of nominations for the 2017 British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) announced this morning by Maisie Williams and Hayley Squires at The London EDITION.

Debut features dominate the nominations list, with the first-time writers, producers and directors of Lady MacbethI Am Not a Witch and God’s Own Country all recognised in the three newcomer categories – Debut ScreenwriterBreakthrough Producer sponsored by Creativity Media and The Douglas Hickox Award for Best Debut Director – as well as Best Screenplay sponsored by BBC FilmsBest Director and Best British Independent Film.

Included in Lady Macbeth’s 15 nominations are nods for Florence Pugh, Naomi Ackie and Cosmo Jarvis for their performances; Naomi is nominated twice, for Best Supporting Actress and Most Promising Newcomer sponsored by The London EDITION. The film has also been nominated for five technical categories, newly introduced this year, including Best Cinematography sponsored by Blackmagic DesignBest Production Design and Best Casting.

BIFA winners 2016

I Am Not a Witch’s Margaret Mulubwa is nominated for Best Actress and the film has picked up six technical category nominations. God’s Own Country’s leads Josh O’Connor and Alec Secareanu are both nominated in Best Actor and the film also has nominations for Ian Hart for Best Supporting Actor as well as Best Casting and Best Sound.

Past BIFA winners Armando Iannucci and Martin McDonagh are the writer-directors of this year’s other two Best British Independent Film nominees, The Death of Stalin and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Both films have two nominees in the Best Supporting Actor category, with The Death of Stalin’s Simon Russell Beale and Steve Buscemi taking on Three Billboards’ Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell. Frances McDormand is nominated for Best Actress sponsored by MAC for her performance in Three Billboards and Andrea Riseborough for Supporting Actress for The Death of Stalin. Both films also have nominations for Best DirectorBest ScreenplayThe Death of Stalin also has seven technical nominations, and Three Billboards has five.

Johnny Harris wrote and starred in Jawbone and has nominations for both Best Actor and Debut Screenwriter. The film’s director Thomas Napper is also recognized in the Best Debut Director category. The film has seven nominations in total, with four technical nods, including Best Music for its score by Paul Weller. 

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool has four nominations including two for past BIFA winners Jamie Bell and Julie Walters, nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress. Bell won Most Promising Newcomer for Billy Elliot in 2000; Walters received The Richard Harris Award in 2013. 

All five nominees for Best Actress sponsored by MAC this year are first-time BIFA nominees. Amongst them are Emily Beecham, nominated for Daphne and Ruth Wilson for Dark River. In Best Supporting Actress Kelly Macdonald receives her first BIFA nomination in for Goodbye Christopher Robin and Patricia Clarkson features at BIFA for the first time for her role in Sally Potter’s The Party.

 Journeyman has three nominations, including Best Actor for Paddy Considine. This is Considine’s sixth BIFA nomination. He won Best Debut Director in 2011 for Tyrannosaur.

BIFA said, “This year’s nominations showcase the range and quality of British independent filmmaking. It’s a diverse and varied list, in terms of the teams making the films and also the kinds of stories being told. It is especially encouraging to see so much exciting work from so many new filmmakers; this points to a very bright future for British cinema and we’re proud to be at the heart of it, celebrating these exceptional films.”

As previously announced, Gary Oldman will receive The Variety Award. This year’s recipient of The Richard Harris Award will be announced soon. The Variety Award recognises a director, actor, writer or producer who has made a global impact and helped to focus the international spotlight on the UK. Past winners include Kate Winslet, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Greengrass, Jude Law, Kenneth Branagh, Liam Neeson, Sir Michael Caine, Naomie Harris, Daniel Craig, Helen Mirren and Richard Curtis.

Introduced in 2002 in honour of Richard Harris, recognises outstanding contribution to British film by an actor. Previous winners have been John Hurt, David Thewlis, Bob Hoskins, Jim Broadbent, Daniel Day-Lewis, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Julie Walters, Emma Thompson, Chiwetel Ejiofor and in 2016, Alison Steadman.

Winners will be announced by host Mark Gatiss at the British Independent Film Awards Ceremony on Sunday 10 December at Old Billingsgate.