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|Billy Bags Four At British Awards|
- Now Oscar glory beckons for the ballet-dancing flick
BILLY ELLIOT was officially recognised as this year's British success story by scooping four awards at the annual British Independent Film Awards last night.
The film bagged Best British Independent Film, Best Director for Stephen Daldry and Best Screenplay for Lee Hall, at the ceremony held at the Café Royal in central London. Jamie Bell, who plays the lead role, danced off with Best Newcomer, his first major film award. The 14 year-old is widely rumoured to be up with a strong chance at the next year's Oscars.
Set during the 1984 miners strike, Billy Elliot tells the story of a boy who swaps his boxing gloves for ballet shoes. It triumphed in four of the five categories in which it was nominated, with only Julie Walters losing out to Gillian Anderson, star of House of Mirth, for best actress.
Other winners included Kevin MacDonald, who won best documentary for his Oscar-winning One Day In September about the killing of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Brit director Mike Figgis walked away with the Film Four special jury prize, for his achievement in British film.
Elliot Grove, founder of the awards said: "We are delighted with the calibre of films this year. The growing number of nominees and winners proves that the British film industry is alive and kicking."