The Luxury Channel had access all areas to the 2014 British Independent Film Awards, sponsored by Moët & Chandon, which took place at London’s Old Billingsgate. Benedict Cumberbatch was honoured with the Variety Award, which was given for his great part in helping to “focus the international spotlight on the UK.”
Accepting the Award, Cumberbatch said, “Thank you so much; it’s a very strange experience to be in your own audience. It’s a ridiculous honour to be here, not least because of the output and the standard of previous recipients. I feel this is a very premature way to acknowledge mine, but it will inspire me to work harder to feel like I deserve it, and that won’t really be difficult because I love my job, I love my industry, I love the people I get to work with….and it’s not just the people in this room we should be celebrating, it’s the armies of craftsmen who are the envy of the world and keep the world coming back for more business here….So no matter how lonely or scared or ‘independent’ I feel standing up here, there are legions of people who supported me to a point where I can just get up in the morning and do my job. My home team: my mother and father, and my fiancé Sophie. This belongs to all of you. Making you proud is a wonderful engine to do what I do. Congratulations to everyone here.”
It was also a memorable night for his Sherlock co-star Andrew Scott, who was named best supporting actor, beating off competition from Rafe Spall, Michael Fassbender and Sean Harris, thanks to his performance in British Thatcher-era drama Pride, which also picked up best British film and the best supporting actress gong for Imelda Staunton.
Dame Helen Mirren presented the Best Newcomer Award, and Emma Thompson was honoured with the Richard Harris Award for film contribution. Calvary star Brendan Gleeson beat Cumberbatch to the best actor award, while Gugu Mbatha-Raw was named best actress for her performance in the title role in period drama Belle, ahead of Cumberbatch’s Imitation Game co-star Keira Knightley and Catch Me Daddy‘s Sameena Jabeen Ahmed. Yann Demange took home best director for ’71, the drama about a British solider trapped in Belfast during the Troubles.
Attendees took home a tote goody bag filled with (amongst other treats), a bottle of Moët & Chandon Champagne, a box of Willie’s Cacao Venezuelan Gold Chocolate and an exclusive coffee table book of exquisite cinematic images by renowned photographer Rankin.
For more about the British Independent Film Awards, please visit www.bifa.org.uk.