King's Speech carries British indie film awards

Colin Firth's new film, The King's Speech, scooped five gongs at the Moet British Independent Film Awards last night.

The period drama about King George VI, directed by Tom Hooper, won the top award for Best British Independent Film, acting honours for leading man Firth, Helena Bonham Carter (as Queen Elizabeth) and Geoffrey Rush (as speech therapist Lionel Logue) and a prize for screenwriter David Seidler.

Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan nabbed best actress, ahead of rivals Sally Hawkins and Ruth Sheen, for her portrayal of Kathy in the big-screen adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's best-seller, Never Let Me Go.

Directing newcomer Gareth Edwards beat film legend Mike Leigh and the likes of Matthew Vaughn, Tom Hooper and Mark Romanek to be picked as best director for his directorial debut Monsters. He also took home a gong for best achievement in production.

He missed out on the Douglas Hickox award for best debut director by Clio Barnard, who helmed The Arbor.

Bonham Carter was presented with the Richard Harris award for outstanding contribution by an actor to British film, while Liam Neeson received the Variety award.

Joanne Froggatt, best known for her turn in ITV's period drama Downton Abbey, picked up most promising newcomer for her part in In Our Name.

Other winners include A Prophet for best foreign film, Enemies Of The People about the Killing Fields in Cambodia for best documentary, Iraqi drama Son Of Babylon which won the Raindance award, and Baby for best British short.

The Moet British Independent Film Awards, hosted by James Nesbitt, took place at Old Billingsgate Market in London.