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Thursday, 25 October, 2001, 03:51 GMT 04:51 UK
Kingsley wins best actor award
Sexy Beast publicity shot
Sexy Beast, set in Spain, won five awards
Ben Kingsley has been named best actor at the British Independent Film Awards (Bifas) for his role in the gangster movie with a twist Sexy Beast.

The film also won the award for best British independent film, with Jonathan Glazer named as best director and Louis Mellis and David Scinto joint winners in the screenplay category.

Enigma star Kate Winslet was beaten to the best actress award by Kate Ashfield, who won for her role in Late Night Shopping.

Comic writer Richard Curtis, best known for his work on Blackadder, Mr Bean, Notting Hill and Bridget Jones's Diary , received a special award - the Variety UK Personality of the Year title.

Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast
Ben Kingsley plays Sexy Beast's unstable Logan
The Bifas are in their fourth year and were created to heighten industry awareness of the achievements by independent film-making in the UK.

Sexy Beast was nominated for five awards and the film tells the story of a retired gangster (played by Ray Winstone) pressed into service by various dubious figures from his past, played by Kingsley and Ian McShane.

Winstone had been nominated alongside Kinglsey in the best actor category.

In the Mood for Love won the Best Foreign Independent Film award for a film in a foreign language, while Memento took the Best Foreign Independent Film in English award.

Ben Winshaw was judged to be the Most Promising Newcomer for his work on My Brother Tom, Dave Pearce won in the Best Music category for South West Nine, and the Best Achievement in Production Award went to Gas Attack.

Bread and Roses
Bread and Roses is a typically hard-hitting drama from Ken Loach
The film The Warrior yielded two awards - Asif Kapadia won the Douglas Hickox Award for a British director on their debut, and Roman Osin, for Best Technical Achievement.

Veteran filmmaker Chris Menges won the Lifetime Achievement Award, and the FilmFour Special Jury Prize went jointly to Bob and Harvey Weinstein.

The Bifa shortlist was drawn up by a jury of 10, made up of key industry players including Primary Colours actor Adrian Lester, High Fidelity director Stephen Frears and the director of the BBC film Last Resort, Pawel Pawilowski.

To be eligible for consideration, films must not be solely funded by a single studio.

They must also be produced, or majority co-produced by a British company, or in receipt of at least 51% of their budget from a British source.

The 2001 award ceremony were held at the Park Lane Hotel, London.

The BBC's David Sillito
"Worried directors are showing off their work"
See also:

09 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Winstone's gangster wrap
26 Sep 01 | Film
Bifa nominations in full
25 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Honours fall at Billy's feet
13 Oct 00 | Entertainment
London cinema goes independent
15 Oct 99 | Entertainment
British cinema honours its stars
27 Apr 01 | Reviews
Loach's Bread winner
26 Feb 00 | Tom Brook
Hart closes in on Hollywood
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