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'Broken,' 'Sightseers' & 'Berberian Sound Studio' Lead 2012 British Independent Film Awards Nominations

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com November 5, 2012 at 8:51AM

After something of a banner year in 2011, with "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," "Shame," "Tyrannosaur," "We Need To Talk About Kevin," "Kill List," "Attack The Block," "Senna," "Weekend," "Jane Eyre," "Wuthering Heights" and "The Guard" among the output, 2012 has been a little disappointing for British cinema. Following a year like the last one was always going to be a tricky, but there's certainly hasn't been much with the same kind of cultural cache as last year's crop, with only a few festival favorites shining a light for UK talent.
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BIFA Nominations 2012

After something of a banner year in 2011, with "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," "Shame," "Tyrannosaur," "We Need To Talk About Kevin," "Kill List," "Attack The Block," "Senna," "Weekend," "Jane Eyre," "Wuthering Heights" and "The Guard" among the output, 2012 has been a little disappointing for British cinema. Following a year like the last one was always going to be a tricky, but there's certainly hasn't been much with the same kind of cultural cache as last year's crop, with only a few festival favorites shining a light for UK talent.

And that's reflected by this year's nominations for the 15th Moët British Independent Film Awards, which mostly showcase an under-the-radar selection of titles that haven't (yet) made an impact in the U.S. Leading the fray is "Broken," the Cannes sidebar selection that marks the cinematic debut of theater veteran Rufus Norris. The film, a North London-set drama starring Tim Roth, Cillian Murphy and Rory Kinnear, picked up a whopping nine nominations, including Best British Independent Film, Best Director and three acting nods. The film was rather tepidly received at Cannes (including by ourselves), but perhaps this is a sign that it's playing better to the home crowd. Curiously, it doesn't yet have a release date in the U.S. or the U.K., but expect one to materialize with the latter in the hope that the film's success can be repeated with the BAFTAs.

Happier news came with seven nominations apiece for Peter Strickland's eerie psychological giallo "Berberian Sound Studio," and Ben Wheatley's glorious dark comedy "Sightseers," those two joined in the Best British Independent Film category by sleeper hit "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" and Bart Layton's documentary "The Imposter." Plan B's directorial debut "Ill Manors" picked up three nominations, including Best Actor for Riz Ahmed, while, in contrast to the Oscar race, this year's Best Actress race is a tight one, with "Sightseers" star Alice Lowe and 'Marigold Hotel' lead Judi Dench up against Andrea Riseborough for "Shadow Dancer," Elle Fanning for "Ginger & Rosa" and, in a curious move caused by a late U.K. release date, last year's Oscar-winning performance, Meryl Streep in "The Iron Lady." Meanwhile, "Amour," "Searching For Sugar Man," "Beasts Of The Southern Wild," "The Hunt" and "Rust & Bone" are battling it out in a strong Best International Independent Film category.

Does it affect the Oscar race one iota? Not so much. We're not sure it'll even affect the BAFTA race particularly (look for "Les Miserables," "Anna Karenina" "Skyfall" and "Best Exotic Marigold") to be duking it out for top honors there). And while we're delighted that films like "Sightseers" and "Berberian Sound Studio" are getting some recognition (along with "My Brother The Devil," which we'd argue has actually been under-recognized), it's hard not to feel that many of this year's nominees would have been on the outside looking in if they were released 12 months earlier. Full nominations below.

Best British Independent Film
Berberian Sound Studio
Broken
Sightseers
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
The Imposter

Best Director
Bart Layton (The Imposter)
Ben Wheatley (Sightseers)
John Madden (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)
Peter Strickland (Berberian Sound Studio)
Rufus Norris (Broken)

The Douglas Hickox Award for Best Debut Director
Bart Layton (The Imposter)
Ben Drew (Ill Manors)
Rowan Athale (Wasteland)
Rufus Norris (Broken)
Sally El Hosaini (My Brother the Devil)

Best Screenplay
Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady)
Alice Lowe, Steve Oram, Amy Jump (Sightseers)
Mark O'Rowe (Broken)
Paul Andrew Williams (Song for Marion)
Peter Strickland (Berberian Sound Studio)

Best Actress
Alice Lowe (Sightseers)
Andrea Riseborough (Shadow Dancer)
Elle Fanning (Ginger & Rosa)
Judi Dench (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)
Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)

Best Actor
Riz Ahmed (Ill Manors)
Steve Oram (Sightseers)
Terence Stamp (Song for Marion)
Tim Roth (Broken)
Toby Jones (Berberian Sound Studio)

Best Supporting Actress
Alice Englert (Ginger & Rosa)
Eileen Davies (Sightseers)
Maggie Smith (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)
Olivia Colman (Hyde Park on Hudson)
Vanessa Redgrave (Song for Marion)

Best Supporting Actor
Billy Connolly (Quartet)
Cillian Murphy (Broken)
Domhnall Gleeson (Shadow Dancer)
Rory Kinnear (Broken)
Tom Wilkinson (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)

Most Promising Newcomer
Elliott Tittensor (Spike Island)
Eloise Laurence (Broken)
James Floyd (My Brother the Devil)
Paul Brannigan (The Angels' Share)
Zawe Ashton (Dreams of a Life)

Best Achievement in Production
Berberian Sound Studio
Ill Manors
Sightseers
The Imposter
The Sweeney

Best Technical Achievement
Nic Knowland – Cinematography (Berberian Sound Studio)
Joakim Sundström, Stevie Haywood AMPS IPS – Sound Design (Berberian Sound Studio)
Electric Wave Bureau – Music (Broken)
Robbie Ryan – Cinematography (Ginger & Rosa)
Andrew Hulme – Editing (The Imposter)

Best Documentary
Dreams of a Life
London: The Modern Babylon
Marley
Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir
The Imposter

Best British Short
Friday
Junk
Skyborn
Swimmer
Volume

Best International Independent Film
Amour
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Rust & Bone
Searching For Sugar Man
The Hunt

The Raindance Award
Frank
Strings
Love Tomorrow
City Slacker
Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet

This article is related to: Awards, Broken, Sightseers, Berberian Sound Studio


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