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‘Gardener’ digs up top prizes at UK film awards

Fernando Meirelles’ thriller wins best film, best actor and best actress
/ Source: Hollywood Reporter

Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles’ thriller “The Constant Gardener” harvested three top prizes at the British Independent Film Awards Wednesday.

Meirelles’ Africa-set tale of romance, political skullduggery and murder, based on John le Carre’s book, took the plaudits for best film, best actor (Ralph Fiennes) and actress (Rachel Weisz).

The other multiple winner was the low-budget horror film “The Descent,” which yielded the director nod for Neil Marshall and the editing prize for Jon Harris.

The supporting actor award went to Rosamund Pike for her role opposite Johnny Depp in the costume romp “The Libertine,” while Emily Barclay won the newcomer prize for her star turn in the New Zealand-U.K. drama “In My Father’s Den,” a tale of hidden family secrets that unfold after a disillusioned war journalist returns home.

Scottish director Annie Griffin took home the award for debut director for “Festival,” set against the backdrop of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and Frank Cottrell Boyce secured the screenplay award for the Danny Boyle-helmed comedy “Millions.”

German director Oliver Hirschbiegel’s “Downfall,” an account of Adolf Hitler’s final days in his Berlin bunker was named best foreign film.

Sean McAllister’s “The Liberace of Baghdad,” which focuses on Iraqi pianist Samir Peter holed up in a Baghdad hotel as he waits for his visa to grant him a new life in the U.S., was chosen as best British documentary.

The awards, in their eighth year, were held at the Hammersmith Palais in London.