The first longlists for the 2021 British Independent Film Awards were revealed this Wednesday 20th October, detailing the talent longlisted in the Breakthrough categories of the awards. Across four different categories, 13 first-time directors, 20 first-time writers, 16 breakthrough producers and 16 new performers were recognized. BIFA, the British Independent Film Awards, highlight and reward the best, most innovative and creative independent filmmaking and filmmakers in the UK.
The longlists revealed currently are Best British Short Film, Debut Screenwriter, Douglas Hickox Award for Debut Director, Breakthrough Performance and Breakthrough Producer. These will be followed on Tuesday 26th October with the longlists for Best International Independent Film and Best Documentary, then on Friday 29th October with the longlist for the Raindance Discovery Award.
These longlists feature a whole host of Film London and BFI NETWORK alumni, including:
The Douglas Hickox Award (Best Debut Director) and Best Debut Screenwriter
Longlisted talent for the Douglas Hickox award include Aleem Khan for his debut feature After Love. Aleem directed his short Three Brothers as part of our London Calling scheme in 2014. Others include Prano Bailey-Bond, longlisted for Censor, directed her short film Short Lease in 2010 through Film London and Corinna Faith, longlisted for The Power, directed short films Ashes and Care as part of Pulse/Pulse+ in 2005/2006. Camille Griffin directed Feeder as part of the same scheme in 2006 and is nominated for Silent Night and Marley Morrison is longlisted for her work on Film London Microwave-supported feature Sweetheart.
Longlisted talent for the Breakthrough Producer award include Sophia Gibber, producer of The Bike Thief, who worked on Precious Hair And Beauty which was part of the BFI NETWORK Short Film Fund 2021. Rob Watson, who produced Gone Too Far as part of our Film London Microwave scheme, is longlisted for his work on The Power. Helen Jones, longlisted producer of Censor, was part of our Production Finance Market New Talent Strand in 2017 and Hester Ruoff, longlisted producer of Boiling Point, was part of the same strand in 2019. Finally, Michelle Antoniades is longlisted for her work on Film London Microwave-supported feature Sweetheart. Both Michelle and Marley also worked on BFI NETWORK short film Baby Gravy.
Longlisted talent for the Breakthrough Performance award includes Nell Barlow, for her performance in Film London Microwave-supported feature Sweetheart.
Best British Short Film
Films longlisted for Best British Short Film include Precious Hair & Beauty and Run, two shorts funded by the BFI NETWORK Short Film Fund. Longlisted short For Lovewas also written and directed by Joy Gharoro-Akpojotorand produced by Emily Morgan, who were both supported by Film London andBFI NETWORK. Joy produced Haircut as part of London Calling Plus in 2018 and Emily produced borough-funded Best of Borough 2012-winning short Physics.
The final five nominations in each category will be announced on Wednesday 3 November. Winners will be revealed at the ceremony on Sunday 5 December.