Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 29 March 2015

Hunger strike movie vies for seven awards

It may be called the British Independent Film Awards, but the Irish appear to be taking over the prestigious event.

Three Irish-related films have made their mark on the annual awards, notching up 17 nominations between them.

And in one category — best actor — the chances of an Irishman walking away with the prize have doubled.

Both Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson have been put forward for their roles as ineffective hitmen in the comedy, In Bruges.

And Hunger, the film about IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands, has proved to be one of the strongest contenders with seven nominations.

Hunger, which is the first film by the artist Steve McQueen, has earned more nominations than The Duchess, which stars Keira Knightley and Happy-Go-Lucky, the latest movie from acclaimed director Mike Leigh.

Starring Michael Fassbender as Bobby Sands, the film has been shortlisted for best British independent film, director, debut director, screenplay, actor, supporting actor and technical achievement.

The awards, which will take place at the end of November in London, are for films which are majority-funded by UK companies with a minimal investment from the big studios.

In Bruges, the story of two hitmen hiding out following a botched job, also has seven nominations at the awards, including two best actor places for its main stars.

The film, which was written and directed by Oscar-winner Martin McDonagh, is also in with a chance of winning best British independent film, debut director, screenplay, supporting actor and technical achievement.

Also in the running is The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, produced from the book by Irish author John Boyne, which has been put up for three awards.

The story about a young German boy’s perceptions of a concentration camp, has also secured nominations for best actress and director as well as most promising newcomer.

The nominations were selected by a committee of 70 members of the BIFA.

Johanna von Fischer and Tessa Collinson, directors of the awards, said there was an "eclectic range" of new film talent this year, the 11th year of the event.

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