Aleem Khan’s directorial debut After Love was the big winner at the British Independent Film Awards, securing six awards, including Best British Independent Film. The film is about recently widowed British Muslim woman Mary Hussain who has to come to terms with a shocking secret about her husband’s life.
Aleem Khan himself won three further BIFA awards - Best Director, The Douglas Hickox Award for Best Debut Director and Best Screenplay - while Joanna Scanlan was awarded Best Actress and Talid Ariss Best Supporting Actor for their performances in the film.
Amongst the other awards, Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s Flee, the animated real-life story of a Afghanistan refugee’s hidden past, won Best International Independent Film, while Adeel Akhtar was awarded Best Actor for his role in Clio Barnard’s tender story of forbidden love, Ali & Ava.
The Best Supporting Actress award went to Vinette Robinson for her work in Philip Barantini’s multi-BIFA nominated single-take restaurant kitchen drama Boiling Point. Breakthrough Performance went to Nell Barlow, star of Marley Morrison’s British holiday park set coming-of-age debut Sweetheart, which also won the Breakthrough Producer for Michelle Antoniades.
In addition, the prestigious Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Actor to British Film went to Riz Ahmed.