2019 BIFA Nominations

Honor Swinton Byrne in Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir (2019)

Both Tilda Swinton and her daughter, Honor Swinton Byrne, are in the running for a British Independent Film Award. First presented in 1998, the BIFAs aim to “highlight and reward the best, most innovative and creative independent filmmaking and filmmakers in the UK.” Among the 2019 BIFA nominations announced this morning are nods to Swinton for her supporting performance in Armando Iannucci’s The Personal History of David Copperfield and to Byrne as one of five of the most promising newcomers for her on-screen debut in Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir. Copperfield, a comedic update on the Dickens classic, opened the London Film Festival earlier this month and leads the race for this year’s BIFAs with eleven nominations. The Souvenir, which won a grand jury prize at Sundance way back in January, has scored eight.

Close behind Copperfield with ten nominations is Tom Harper’s Wild Rose, starring Jessie Buckley as an aspiring singer from Glasgow who yearns to go to Nashville and become a country music star. The Hollywood Reporter’s Leslie Felperin speaks for many when she calls the film “entirely delightful, fresh as a Scottish summer evening.” In Fabric, “the latest wonderfully weird exercise in genre fetishization by the British-born, Eastern Europe-based director Peter Strickland,” as Justin Chang has put it in the Los Angeles Times, follows with nine nominations. The BIFAs will be awarded on December 22.

Meantime, the unaffiliated British Academy of Film and Television Arts won’t be announcing the nominations for the 2020 BAFTAs until January 7, but today the Academy presented a list of twenty inductees into its year-long BAFTA Breakthrough Brits mentoring and guidance program. The jury sees the future of British film and television in the likes of Saint Maud writer-director Rose Glass, for example, and Sex Education creator Laurie Nunn.

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