Light shines on independent films

Lancashire Telegraph: Jude Law was one of the stars at the British Independent Film Awards Jude Law was one of the stars at the British Independent Film Awards

Movie stars from every generation have graced the red carpet as the film industry raised a toast to independent British cinema.

Actors Jude Law, Michael Gambon and Ben Drew were among the film-makers who turned out for the Moet British Independent Film Awards at Old Billingsgate Market in London.

Jude Law was at the gongs to receive the Variety Award for shining a light on British cinema throughout his career.

"It feels great, there is no tension here tonight," he said. "I am very proud to be a Brit in a global film industry, and to be recognised after 20 years of kind of hard work is a good thing."

Previous recipients include Sir Michael Caine, Dame Helen Mirren and Sir Kenneth Branagh.

Law, who recently accused the Government of "cultural vandalism" over plans to cut art education from the school syllabus, said the awards were a celebration of the cultural industry. The 39-year-old added: "Let's not ruin its future by stopping kids having free and fair artistic education."

Northern Irish actor James Nesbitt, recently back in the UK from filming The Hobbit in New Zealand, hosted the award ceremony. He introduced the show with Frank Sinatra croon Come Fly With Me, adapting the lyrics to refer to filmmakers in attendance.

Among those mentioned were veteran actor Terence Stamp, director and former Monty Python member Terry Gilliam and Idris Elba, who shot to fame playing suave gangster Stringer Bell in cult HBO series The Wire.

Speaking on the red carpet, Nesbitt said: "Once again I am agreeing to do this for the seventh time, but we are hopeless us Irish, we will agree to do anything."

"British independent film is in marked contrast to the economy, it is doing incredibly well and when times are hard we need film," he added.

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