Britflix presents its inaugural British Indie Films Awards – the first awards designed to recognise the British films that make an impact on the DVD shelves of your local supermarket. Here you’ll find acclaim for well loved television faces, gangster films and products designed for people who unashamedly love popular Britflix. There’s no snooty red carpet ceremony or luvvie air kissing, just an unpretentious guide to the best of British cinema that keeps the industry ticking over. It’s a fun list that celebrates success as well as creativity and our panel of judges enjoyed putting it together during the last month or so. Whether you agree or disagree with their choices we’d love to hear from you: and rest assured we’ll be back with our next list at the same time in 2019.
The most ambitious British indie of the year saw David Bautista, Pierce Brosnan and Ray Stephenson lock horns for the fate of West Ham football ground. A fun old fashioned action romp that really delivered. We’re hoping for a sequel called Extra Time.
David LG Hughes – ‘Viking Destiny’
Hughes, best-known for his uber stylish Essex noir Hard Boiled Sweets pulled the cat out of the bag again with his epic Nordic adventure movie. Slickly-directed action sequences merge with realistic performances to create a lavish, Game of Thrones inspired fantasy. We can’t wait to see what he does next.
Bart Ruspoli and Freddie Hutton-Mills – ‘Genesis’
Directors/writers/distributors Ruspoli and Hutton-Mills wear many hats over at their busy mini-studio Ascendant Films and this year we recognise their screenplay for Genesis, a compelling British SciFi film released by Lionsgate. Intelligent, engaging and literate it formed the foundation for a fine genre film.
Jonathan Sothcott – ‘The Krays – Dead Man Walking’
The king of Straight to Video showed he still has what it takes as his The Krays – Dead Man Walking stormed the charts and ate up the tabloid column inches. Made on a tiny budget on an incredibly short schedule the film is testament to Sothcott’s unparalleled expertise at making these British genre films. 2019 promises to be a big one for his Hereford Films operation and his unashamed commerciality clearly remains unabated.
BEST SHORT FILM
Actor/Writer/Director Nick Nevern (The Hooligan Factory, Riviera) delivered a brilliant, gritty urban short boasting a stellar cast (George Russo, Lorraine Stanley) and high production values for first time producer Jamie-Louise Davies. We hope to see him in the director’s chair more regularly in 2019.
Dave Bautista – ‘Final Score’
Former WWE wrestler Bautista may be best known for his hilarious role in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies but his old-school action turn in Final Score gave him a much bigger role. Tailored to his obvious physicality and comic timing, the result is a fine lead turn in an unpretentious action movie and makes him a dominant figure in a genre once ruled by muscular giants with big personalities.
Rita Simons – ‘The Krays – Dead Man Walking’
Eastenders favourite Rita got in training for her Jungle ordeal by taking on the notorious Krays twins in the successful gangster movie. Seizing an unusually strong genre role by the horns she delivers a stunningly powerful performance which had viewers on the edge of their seats. A British film natural we hope to see her on our screens a lot more over the coming years.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Chris Ellison – ‘The Krays – Dead Man Walking’
Best known as legendary TV hardman Frank Burnside, Ellison has long been a key supporting actor in British films such as Bonded By Blood 1 and 2, We Still Kill The Old Way (and its sequel) and most recently King of Crime. The Krays – Dead Man Walking, gave him a showier part with a bit more depth and the veteran actor delivers one of his best performances to date. Brilliant stuff from a true icon of British screen.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Martine McCutcheon – ‘The Bromley Boys’
Eternally youthful through annual Christmas screenings of her memorable turn in Love Actually, Martine McCutcheon showed what a terrific actress she still is with a lovely performance in feel good football comedy The Bromley Boys. A natural comedienne with real screen presence she positively sparkled on screen and we hope to see a lot more of her in British indie films.
BEST NEWCOMER (male)
Former WWE superstar made his UK big screen debut in vampire comedy Fanged Up and if we’re honest expectations were low. However, not only did he hold his own against veterans such as Steven Berkoff and Roland Manookian but he was easily the best thing in the film. Bennet moved straight onto action flick Vengeance (aka I Am Vengeance) for director Ross Boyask and immediately showed he has the chops to handle lead roles. Bennett has since followed it up by locking horns with Britflix legend Vinnie Jones for a Vengeance sequel and has all the requirements to become a player on the international action movie scene.
BEST NEWCOMER (female)
The sultry Emily Wyatt first caught our eye as Larry Lamb’s girlfriend in the excellent Rise of the Footsoldier 3 and she’s back in a much bigger role in the eagerly anticipated sequel which hits the shelves in a year’s time. A talented actress with a great screen presence, we look forward to seeing Emily transcending the gangster genre into other roles.
Martial Arts superstar Scott Adkin’s very personal project proved an excellent vehichle for his high kicking screen presence and as you’d expect the fight scenes were up to Hollywood standards. Kudos to Dan Styles, rapidly becoming the best stunt co-ordinator on the British indie circuit.
CONTRIBUTION TO BRITISH FILM HISTORY
Talking Pictures TV Channel
A priceless resource for British film fans, as well as a brilliantly innovative TV channel in its own right, Talking Pictures has become the favourite televisual destination of Britflix conniseurs. As UK film expert Dr Matthew Sweet recently tweeted “I so wish @TalkingPicsTV had been around when I was writing Shepperton Babylon. The subtitle is The Lost Worlds of British Cinema, but half my filmography is on their schedules.” Simply wonderful.
RISING STAR (male)
The grandson of British film and television icon Edward Woodward landed a key supporting role in The Krays – Dead Man Walking straight out of drama school. His natural, nuanced performance meant that he more than held his own against a cast of seasoned veterans and his tangible start quality was one of the film’s highlights.
RISING STAR (female)
Exotic beauty Janine burst onto the indie film scene this year with a supporting role opposite Rita Simons in The Krays – Dead Man Walking and a lead role in the horror movie Aura (UK title – The Exorcism of Karen Walker) with Rula Lenska, in which she displayed real acting chops in her big screen debut. Janine’s stunning looks have been eating up the tabloid column inches but she’s a very talented actress and we predict big things for her in 2019.
ONE TO WATCH
Six times world kick boxing champion Lee made the jump from stunts to acting after catching the eye of writer/director/one man film industry Noel Clarke and caught the public eye in a memorable elevator fight with WWE legend Dave Bautista in Final Score. He recently starred in Avengement opposite Britflick legends Nick Moran, Craig Fairbrass and Scott Adkins and is tipped to play Lenny McLean in the 2019 bare knuckle fighting biopic Pretty Boy.
Arrow Films & Arrow Video
Arrow Films has long been one of the UK’s most prestigious film distributors but since the demise of the likes of Metrodome and Revolver have really gained a foothold in the market with their well executed combination of commercial and more high brow releases. Meanwhile, Arrow Video’s work restoring classic films, British and other, is second to none and their Blu Ray presentations of classic films such as The Long Good Friday and Hellraiser are world class. If you’re a film buff their cool reversible sleeves are a delight and their prices – particularly on offer in HMV are always fair. Grab yourself a shelf full now!
BEST BRITISH FILM BOOK
A remarkable large format coffee table book by Jay Glennie covering every aspect of the making of the classic British film Performance, with contributions by Mick Jagger, James Fox, Nic Roeg and many more. Available at www.performance-book.com
BEST MARKETING CAMPAIGN
JV Publicity – The Bromley Boys
The audacious marketing campaign run by JV Publicity generated a huge amount of national coverage for the feel-good football comedy The Bromley Boys, which enjoyed a substantial theatrical release. Its hard fighting the Hollywood Blockbusters for tabloid column inches but JV did a particularly strong job on this title, particularly as a relatively new company.
The ultimate Britflix tough guy actor has cemented his unrivalled reputation in blistering action vehicles such as London Heist, the Rise of the Footsoldier series (which he has more than made his own), Devil’s Playground, Freight and the upcoming Avengement. Off screen, Fairbrass is one of the most popular video game voice over and motion capture artists in the world, while his back catalogue boasts everything from Eastenders in its prime to Cliffhanger opposite Sylvester Stallone. Although his physicality, even in his 50s, is unique, Fairbrass is also a very capable actor displaying a real range when given the opportunity. The hulking movie star truly deserves to be the first Britflix ‘Legend.’ Just make sure you get his pizza order right!