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5 incredible British Independent Film Awards winners you should watch immediately

<strong>Written by Jack Monaghan</strong>

On Sunday 4<sup>th</sup> December 2016, the 18<sup>th</sup> edition of the <a title=”British Independent Film Awards” href=””>British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs)</a> will take place.

Created in 1998 by Elliot Grove (founder of the multi-national independent film festival Raindance), the BIFAs celebrate the best of British independent filmmaking, promote emerging talent and aim to introduce British motion pictures and filmmaking to a wider audience .

Among the patrons of the BIFAs are actors Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, David Thewlis, Tom Hollander, Ewan McGregor, Tilda Swinton and Bill Nighy and filmmakers Ken Loach, Mike Figgis and Michael Winterbottom.

The organisation first began handing out awards in 1998, with Ken Loach’s <em>My Name is Joe</em> being awarded the top prize and Gary Oldman’s <em>Nil by Mouth</em> taking a majority of the other awards on offer (including Best Actor and Actress for Ray Winstone and Kathy Burke). The awards ceremony currently has fifteen categories honouring writing, directing, technical work and the best independent films Britain and other countries (in the foreign film category) has to offer.

Among the nominees for the eighteenth annual British Independent Film Awards are Ken Loach’s Palme d’Or winner <em>I, Daniel Blake</em>, Andrea Arnold’s road movie <em>American Honey</em> and Persian-language horror film and British foreign language submission for the 89<sup>th</sup> Academy Awards <em>Under the Shadow</em> (a British co-production with Iran).

Also in contention are five foreign releases as acclaimed US pictures <em>Manchester by the Sea</em> and <em>Moonlight</em>, German comedy <em>Toni Erdmann</em>, New Zealand comedy <em>Hunt for the Wilderpeople</em> and French-Turkish drama <em>Mustang.</em>

Here is a list of the top 5 BIFA Best Film winners we recommend you view…

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<h4><strong>This is England (2006)</strong></h4>
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<em>dir. Shane Meadows, cast – Thomas Turgoose, Stephan Graham, Joseph Gilgun and Vicky McClure, distributor ”“ Optimum Releasing.</em>

A staple of British cinema in the noughties, Shane Meadows’s <em>This is England</em> presents a gritty view of life in Great Britain following the Falklands conflict. As seen through the eyes of young Shaun (Thomas Turgoose), the film takes on the racism, white supremacy and working class discontent that defined Thatcher’s Britain. The film spawned three miniseries <em>’86</em>, <em>’88</em> and <em>’90</em>, all a worthy addition to any DVD collection.

<a title=”Buy This is England on DVD” href=”″><strong>Buy <em>This is England </em>on DVD</strong></a>

<a title=”Buy This is England on Blu-Ray” href=”″><strong>Buy <em>This is England </em>on Blu-Ray</strong></a>

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<h4><strong>Tyrannosaur (2011)</strong></h4>
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<em> dir. Paddy Considine, cast ”“ Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman and Eddie Marsan, distributor ”“ StudioCanal UK.</em>

An autistic person can do a lot behind the camera. Just ask Paddy Considine with his 2011 (coincidentally the year he received his diagnosis) directorial debut <em>Tyrannosaur</em>, a 2010s response to <em>Nil by Mouth</em> (given the parallels Considine shares with Gary Oldman).  Through the lens of the camera and his own eyes, Considine directs actors Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman and Eddie Marsan (<em>The World’s End</em>) in a bleak and brutal look at the psyche of a man in constant anger and the abuse going on around him. Not for the faint-hearted, but if you have the stomach, this one’s for you.

<a title=”Buy Tyrannosaur on DVD” href=””><strong>Buy <em>Tyrannosaur </em>on DVD</strong></a>

<a title=”Buy Tyrannosaur on Blu-Ray” href=””><strong>Buy <em>Tyrannosaur </em>on Blu-Ray</strong></a>

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<h4>Sexy Beast (2000)</h4>
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<em>dir. Jonathan Glazer, cast ”“ Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley, Ian McShane, Amanda Redman and James Fox, distributor ”“ Film4.</em>

Gal Dove (Ray Winstone) is happily retired from his life of crime and living a tranquil existence on the Spanish coast. That is until he is called in to do one final job  by his former boss Don Logan (an against-type tour-de-force from Ben Kingsley). An interesting and unusual twist on the gangster film genre (including a heist scene filmed underwater) from director Jonathan Glazer (<em>Under the Skin</em>).

<a title=”Buy Sexy Beast on DVD” href=”″><b>Buy <em>Sexy Beast </em>on DVD</b></a>

<a title=”Buy Sexy Beast on Blu-Ray” href=”″><strong>Buy <em>Sexy Beast </em>on Blu-Ray</strong></a>

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<h4><strong>Control (2007) </strong></h4>
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<em>dir. Anton Corbijn, cast ”“ Sam Riley, Samantha Morton and Toby Kebbell, distributor ”“ Momentum Pictures.</em>

Making his cinematic debut, photographer Anton Corbijn takes an unsentimental, hazy look at the short-lived life of Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis (Sam Riley in his debut performance). Samantha Morton and Toby Kebbell (<em>Dawn of the Planet of the Apes</em>) co-star. Ideal for the music fan in your life along with Michael Winterbottom’s <em>24 Hour Party People</em> (since both films feature Tony Wilson as a major character).

<b><a title=”Buy Control on DVD” href=”″>Buy <em>Control </em>on DVD</a></b>

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<h4>Slumdog Millionaire (2008)</h4>
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<em>dir. Danny Boyle, cast ”“ Dev Patel, Frida Pinto and Irrfan Khan, distributor ”“ Pathé.</em>

A Bollywood-inspired crowd-pleaser from the director of <em>Shallow Grave</em> and <em>Trainspotting</em>, surely you jest? Based on his previous success with the feel-good film <em>Millions</em> and later with <em>127 Hours</em>, we at musicMagpie say: “we don’t”. Based on Vikas Swarup’s novel Q&amp;A and winner of eight Academy Awards (including Best Picture of 2008), the film tells the story of Jamal (Patel) reliving his past and attempting to find love as he edges closer to the top prize on India’s edition of <em>Who Wants to be a Millionaire?</em>

Brutal (scenes involved include the Bombay riots and depictions of the Indian gangster scene), musical and offering a tourist’s eye-view of Mumbai, <em>Slumdog Millionaire</em> is a true crowdpleaser from an unlikely source in Danny Boyle.

<a title=”Buy Slumdog Millionaire on DVD” href=””><strong>Buy <em>Slumdog Millionaire </em>on DVD</strong></a>

<a title=”Buy Slumdog Millionaire on Blu-Ray” href=”″><strong>Buy <em>Slumdog Millionaire </em>on Blu-Ray</strong></a>

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<strong>Honourable mentions:</strong> <em>Vera Drake</em> (Mike Leigh, 2004), <em>Billy Elliot </em>(Stephen Daldry, 2000), <em>Metro Manila</em> (Sean Ellis, 2013) and <em>Moon</em> (Duncan Jones, 2009).

As well as the films in this post, we’ve got 1000s more DVDs at low prices on the musicMagpie Store. From cult films to blockbusters and more, you’re bound to find something you’ll love!