‘For Sama’ Takes Top Prizes at British Independent Film Awards, ‘Parasite’ Continues to Impress


The British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) presented their winners Sunday in London. Winning the top prize, Waad al-Kateab with Edward Watts’ powerful Syrian documentary “For Sama” took home Best British Independent Film.

The documentary feature is no stranger to the spotlight. Since its world premiere at SXSW Film Festival this year, it won the Grand Jury Award in Documentary there and went on to win The Golden Eye for Best Documentary at Cannes. At the BIFAs it also won the awards for Best British Independent Film, Best Director, Best Documentary, and Best Film Editing.

In the acting categories, Renee Zellweger‘s portrayal of Judy Garland in “Judy” won her with the Best Actress prize. This is a good win for Zellweger going into the thick of awards contention. Josh O’ Connor, who stars in Netflix’s “The Crown,” won the award for Best Actor for his role in the romance “Only You.” O’Connor won the same BIFA prize in 2017 for his performance in “God’s Own Country.”

Bong Joon-ho’s critically raved about “Parasite” won the award for Best International Independent Film, an accolade to add to its Cannes- awarded Palme d’Or and a boost of power to know that it is still being received well overseas.

Below is the complete list of BIFA winners:

The Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Actor to British Film:
Kristin Scott Thomas

Special Jury Prize
Amanda Nevill

Best British Independent Film
“For Sama”

Best Director
Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts (“For Sama”)

Best Screenplay
Armando Ianucci, Simon Blackwell (“The Personal History of David Copperfield”)

Best Documentary
“For Sama”

Best Actress
Renee Zellweger (“Judy”)

Best Actor
Josh O’Connor (“Only You”)

Best Supporting Actress
Ruthxjiah Bellenea (“The Last Tree”)

Best Supporting Actor
Hugh Laurie (“The Personal History of David Copperfield”)

Most Promising Newcomer
Sam Adewunmi (“The Last Tree”)

The Douglas Hickox Award (Debut Director)
Harry Wootliff (“Only You”)

Debut Screenwriter
Emma Jane Unsworth (“Animals”)

Breakthrough Producer
Kate Byers, Linn Waite (“Bait”)

The Raindance Discovery Award
“Children of the Snow Land”

Best Casting
Sarah Crowe (“The Personal History of David Copperfield”)

Best Cinematography
Benjamin Kracun (“Beats”)

Best Costume Design
Suzie Harman, Robert Worley (“The Personal History of David Copperfield”)

Best Editing
Chloe Lambourne, Simon McMahon (“For Sama”)

Best Effects
Howard Jones (“A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”)

Best Make-Up & Hair Design
Jeremy Woodhead (“Judy”)

Best Music
Jack Arnold (“Wild Rose”)

Best Production Design
Cristina Casali (“The Personal History of David Copperfield”)

Best Sound
David Bowtle-McMillan, Joakim Sundstrom, Robert Farr (“Beats”)

Best British Short Film

Best International Independent Film

What do you think of the British Independent Film Awards winners? Share your thoughts in the comments below!