Charlotte Wells’ Aftersun wins 7 awards at BIFA

Charlotte Wells’ Aftersun won the most awards of any film nominated at the 25th edition of the British Independent Film Awards (BIFA), winning seven out of sixteen nominations.

The film spans 20 years period, starting with 11-year-old Sophie (Frankie Corio) on a father-daughter holiday in Turkey and ends with his reflection on this experience as an adult.

When it premiered at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, “Aftersun” won the French Touch jury prize. Recently, Wells received a director’s award and Gotham Awards.

The debut film of Charlotte Wells’ Aftersun and Georgia Oakley’s Blue Jean lead British Independent Film Nominations 2022 Awards (BIFA) with 16 and 13 nominations.

Sebastián Lelio’s The Wonder got 12 nominations, Oliver Hermanus’ ‘Living’ 9 and Peter Strickland’s Flux Gourmet with seven nominations.

Charlotte Wells' Aftersun won 7 awards at BIFA
Charlotte Wells’ Aftersun won 7 awards at BIFA.

Charlotte Wells’ Aftersun, the directorial debut of Scottish filmmaker Charlotte Wells, is a two-part portrait of a teenage girl and a young man feeling the transition to maturity, and it’s a work of genius.

It is one of the best films of the year, even if it takes a lot of work, as Wells takes such a deliberate approach to his ideas that he first gets influence over deception.

Starting this year, the awards at BIFA are permanently going gender neutral for acting categories with the traditional best and supporting actress and actor awards being replaced by best lead performance, best supporting performance, best joint lead performance — for performances that are the joint focus of the film — and best ensemble.

At Sunday evening’s ceremony of BIFA, ‘Normal People’ actress Daisy Edgar-Jones presented the award for Best British Independent Film to Charlotte Wells. Added to the list of film awards under Charlotte Wells’ Aftersun are awards for best director, best first director, best Filmography, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Music Management.

Director Georgia Oakley’s “Blue Jean” also received the best lead performance and Best supporting performance category – awards given to Rosy McEwen and Kerrie Hayes respectively. The film also received nominations for Best Original Screenwriter and Best Casting, with director Shaheen Baig winning the Spotlight Award.

This year’s British Independent Film Awards featured the addition of a new category: best joint performance. This new Award goes to Tamara Lawrence and Letita Wright, who play twins who can only talk to each other in Focus Features’ “The Silent Twins.”

Among the best films of the International independent film category, “The Worst Person in the World” (originally “Verdens verste menske”) by director Joachim Trier received the Best International Film category at Oscar 2022. The romantic drama, which sees a medical student from Oslo named Julie (Renate Reinsve) embarks on a quest for love and trust in her career, chosen as Norway’s submission.

The Richard Harris Award For Outstanding Contribution By An Actor To British Film was honored o Samantha Morton and The Special Jury Prize to Open Door.

Charlotte Wells’ Aftersun story

This film is getting 7.7 out of 10 in IMDB ratings. Sophie reflects on the shared joy and private melancholy of a holiday she took with her father twenty years earlier. Memories real and imagined fill the gaps between as she tries to reconcile the father she knew with the man she didn’t.

Calum is a young dad, young enough that when he is out with 11-year-old Sophie (Francesca Corio), people assume that they’re siblings rather than a parent and child. Someone makes this mistake not long into Aftersun, and you expect Calum to let it pass uncommented on, or to be embarrassed when he has to explain the truth.

He is, after all, played by the irresistible Paul Mescal, prince of the charming, unreliable heartthrobs, and with his rumpled looks and periodically reapplying sunscreen to his daughter’s back to ensure that she doesn’t burn. And yet Calum, for all the other ways that things have not been working out the way he planned, is proud to announce that he’s Sophie’s father, and proud to be taking her on a vacation he can’t really afford to a discount beach resort in Turkey. 

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