Kenneth Branagh honoured at BIFAs

December 5th, 2011

Kenneth Branagh was honoured with a major prize at the British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs) last night (04.12.11).

The actor-and-director picked up the Variety Award at the ceremony in London's Old Billingsgate for helping to put the international spotlight on the UK through his work in the movie industry - and he was "thrilled" to take home the accolade.

The 'Thor' filmmaker told the audience: "It is very exciting and thrilling.

"It is very nice to have a prize that has the words 'variety' and 'independence' attached to it because it is what I like to pursue in my work and to be in an atmosphere that people say is the Christmas party for the British film industry.

"These are people who are publishing stories which are very connected with what the British public might be interested in, what society is interested in, what the zeitgeist is about and that is important.

"The nation needs to talk about itself and hold a mirror up to nature and these films are doing that and the more they are doing that the better."

Among the other winners on the night saw 'Harry Potter' star Ralph Fiennes win the Richard Harris gong for an outstanding contribution to British film and 'Tyrannosaur' picked up a hat-trick of accolades, beating box office hit 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy'.

The drama movie - which tells of a man who is plagued by violence and rage which drives him to self-destruction - won Best British Independent Film, Best Debut Director for Paddy Considine, and Best Actress for Olivia Colman.

Vanessa Redgrave, Gemma Arterton and Hayley Atwell were all in attendance at the ceremony, which saw Michael Fassbender win the Best Actor for his role in Steve McQueen's 'Shame'.

He explained: "I feel very humbled and flattered to be among this company."

The Moet British Independent Film Awards winners:

Best British Independent Film: 'Tyrannosaur'

Best Director: Lynne Ramsay - 'We Need to Talk About Kevin'

The Douglas Hickox Award (Best Debut Director): Paddy Considine - 'Tyrannosaur'

Best Screenplay: Richard Ayoade - 'Submarine'

Best Actress: Olivia Colman - 'Tyrannosaur'

Best Actor: Michael Fassbender - 'Shame'

Best Supporting Actress: Vanessa Redgrave - 'Coriolanus'

Best Supporting Actor: Michael Smiley - 'Kill List'

Most Promising Newcomer: Tom Cullen - 'Weekend'

Best Achievement in Production: 'Weekend'

The Raindance Award: 'Leaving Baghdad'

Best Technical Achievement: Maria Djurkovic - Production Design - 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy'

Best Documentary: 'Senna'

Best British Short: 'Chalk'

Best Foreign Independent Film: 'A Separation'

The Richard Harris Award (for outstanding contribution by an actor to British Film): Ralph Fiennes

The Variety Award: Kenneth Branagh

The Special Jury Prize: Graham Easton