//‘Under the Skin’ & ‘The Selfish Giant’ Lead 2013 BIFA Nominations

‘Under the Skin’ & ‘The Selfish Giant’ Lead 2013 BIFA Nominations

The Selfish Giant
“The Selfish Giant”

The great thing – or, at least, one of them – about the British Independent Film Awards is that for Americans it can double as a most anticipated of 2014 list. Look at last year’s nominees and you’ll see holdover hits of this year such as Berberian Sound Studio, Sightseers, My Brother the Devil, Shadow Dancer and Ginger & Rosa. Is it a bit irritating that we must wait till the following year to hail these films in our own way? Sure, but I suppose the beauty of different release calenders is that we know to keep an eye out for these indie darlings in the early months of next year.

Fortunately for us antsy American viewers and critics, one of the standouts of the BIFA nominations, Clio Bernard’s Cannes sensation The Selfish Giant, is getting a late-December bow courtesy of Sundance Selects. The film took 7 nods, including ones for British Independent Film and Technical Achievement for the film’s casting. Whether it should qualify as a technical achievement oddly doesn’t feel relevant when they’re so admirably stretching the category’s limits to allow for stunning unseen work. I, for one, wouldn’t be displeased with a casting director Oscar, though it would all too likely just serve as further backpacking for eventual Best Picture winner.

Starred Up
“Starred Up”

The nominations were otherwise filled to the brim with future 2014 films, Philomena notwithstanding. That Judi Dench showcase may well become a larger Oscar presence as the season progresses, a development I wouldn’t be entirely surprised by. The most nominated film of the bunch, however, was London Film Festival premiering prison drama Starred Up, landing a nomination in practically every category it was eligible for, including performance nods for Jack O’Connell and Ben Mendelsohn. That will certainly be one to look for next year, along with Jon S. Baird’s grungy James McAvoy showcase Filth, which scored nods for Baird and McAvoy as well as supporting players Shirley Henderson and Eddie Marsan.

For all the noteworthy unknowns, though, all immediate interest shoots to the well known hits of Venice, chiefly Jonathan Glazer’s hypnotic sci-fi thriller Under the Skin, snatching up nods for lead actress Scarlett Johansson along with technical achievement nods for its music and sound design, one of which is almost assured a win. The other Venice standout in question is Steven Knight’s real-time thriller Locke, whose most notable nod must be for lead actor Tom Hardy, though its tech achievement nod for editing has me most intrigued to find out why.

"For Those In Peril" (Not "All Is Lost")
“For Those In Peril” (Not “All Is Lost”)

I’d also keep a close eye on the nominees for the Douglas Hickox Award for Best Debut Director, many of which we’re doubtless to be unsuspectingly startled by when they get domestic distribution. I’ve heard particularly encouraging things about Scottish-set drama For Those in Peril and indie horror In Fear, so keep a keen eye out. Lastly of mention, particularly in a British awards showcase, are the nominees for International Independent Film, which include American darlings Blue Jasmine and Frances Ha, Italian entry The Great Beauty, Saudi Arabian hit Wadjda, and Palme d’Or winning French romance Blue Is the Warmest Color. Oddly enough, the winner doesn’t seem like such a foregone conclusion this year.

The British Independent Film Awards take place on December 8th. You can take a look at the full list of nominations below or at the BIFA awards’ site.

2013 British Independent Film
Awards Nominations


  • Metro Manila
  • Philomena
  • The Selfish Giant
  • Starred Up
  • Le Week-end


  • Jon S. Baird, Filth
  • Sean Ellis, Metro Manila
  • Clio Bernard, The Selfish Giant
  • David Mackenzie, Starred Up
  • Jonathan Glazer, Under the Skin


  • Judi Dench, Philomena
  • Lindsay Duncan, Le Week-end
  • Scarlett Johansson, Under the Skin
  • Felicity Jones, The Invisible Woman
  • Saoirse Ronan, How I Live Now


  • Jim Broadbent, Le Week-end
  • Steve Coogan, Philomena
  • Tom Hardy, Locke
  • Jack O’Connell, Starred Up
  • James McAvoy, Filth


  • Siobhan Finneran, The Selfish Giant
  • Shirley Henderson, Filth
  • Imogen Poots, The Look of Love
  • Kristin Scott Thomas, The Invisible Woman
  • Mia Wasikowska, The Double


  • John Arcilla, Metro Manila
  • Rupert Friend, Starred Up
  • Jeff Goldblum, Le Week-end
  • Eddie Marsan, Filth
  • Ben Mendehlson, Starred Up


  • Steven Knight, Locke
  • Jeff Pope & Steve Coogan, Philomena
  • Clio Bernard, The Selfish Giant
  • Jonathan Asser, Starred Up
  • Hanif Kureisha, Le Week-end


  • Blue Is the Warmest Color
  • Blue Jasmine
  • Frances Ha
  • The Great Beauty
  • Wadjda


  • Shaheen Baig (casting), Starred Up
  • Johnnie Burn (sound design), Under the Skin
  • Amy Hubbard (casting), The Selfish Giant
  • Mica Levi (music), Under the Skin
  • Justine Wright (editing), Locke


  • The Great Hip Hop Hoax
  • The Moo Man
  • Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer
  • The Spirit of ’45
  • The Stone Roses: Made of Stone


  • Paul Wright, For Those In Peril
  • Tina Gharavi, I Am Nasrine
  • Jeremy Lovering, In Fear
  • Omid Nooshin, Last Passenger
  • Charlie Cattrall, Titus


  • Harley Bird, How I Live Now
  • Caity Lotz, The Machine
  • Jake Macapagal, Metro Manila
  • Connor Chapman and Shaun Thomas, The Selfish Giant
  • Chloe Pirrie, Shell


  • A Field in England
  • Filth
  • Metro Manila
  • The Selfish Giant
  • Starred Up


  • L’Assenza
  • Dr. Easy
  • Dylan’s Room
  • Jonah
  • Z1


  • Everyone’s Going to Die
  • The Machine
  • The Patrol
  • Sleeping Dogs
  • Titus

Born in California, resident in New Hampshire, Lena is film studies graduate with a intense passion for queer cinema, stop-motion animation and all things Greta Gerwig. Full Bio.