UPDATED: 3:05 PM: BIFA logoThe UK’s Foreign Language Oscar entry, Metro Manila, had the biggest haul at tonight’s British Independent Film Awards, nabbing three prizes including Best Film, and Director for Sean Ellis. The Tagalog-language, Philippines-set drama centers on a poor farmer who moves his family to the capital city in search of a better life, only to unwittingly become mixed up with a criminal underworld after he takes a job as an armored transport driver. metro-manila__130516002835In May, Deadline reported that Fox International Productions had acquired remake rights to the Sundance Audience Award winner. Also tonight, James McAvoy was named Best Actor for Jon S. Baird’s Filth, a crime comedy based on the novel by Irvine Welsh. Lindsay Duncan was Best Actress for Roger Michell’s Le Week-End and Imogen Poots took the Best Supporting Actress prize for The Look Of Love. Although it had eight nominations coming into the evening, David Mackenzie’s prison drama Starred Up went home with only one when Ben Mendelsohn scooped the Best Supporting Actor trophy.

The BIFAs were held tonight at London’s Old Billingsgate Market where the ceremony is somewhat akin to the Golden Globes in that a dinner precedes the awards (it’s sponsored by champagne house Moët & Chandon). Host James Nesbitt early on commented the BIFAs are “’better than BAFTA, more arty than the Oscars, and less Nazi than the GQ awards.” Either way, they haven’t recently had much sway with U.S. voting bodies. Still, the wins here could certainly up Metro Manila‘s profile in the Foreign Oscar category.

Among the highlights of the evening was Paul Greengrass‘ acceptance speech for the Variety Award, sponsored by Deadline’s sister publication. The filmmaker commented that the fact that so many Hollywood movies are coming to shoot in the UK “shows you how incredibly fertile the British film industry is… We should be leveraging our position in terms of Hollywood movies that are coming in here… to the advantage of the industry as a whole. I’m incredibly optimistic about the future.” Earlier in the evening, when Ken Loach’s creative team won a special jury prize, the director mused, “You drop a bollock every day and you need someone to pick it up, and these do. I owe them everything really… On behalf of all directors, to the people who create our films, thank you.” Greengrass echoed the sentiment, later saying, “For all the people who’ve picked up my bollocks, I thank them.” The full list of winners follows:

BEST BRITISH INDEPENDENT FILM
Metro Manila

BEST DIRECTOR
Sean Ellis – Metro Manila

BEST ACTRESS
Lindsay Duncan – Le Week-End

THE DOUGLAS HICKOX AWARD [BEST DEBUT DIRECTOR]
Paul Wright – For Those In Peril

BEST SCREENPLAY
Steven Knight – Locke

BEST ACTOR
James McAvoy – Filth

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION
Metro Manila

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Imogen Poots – The Look Of Love

BEST TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT
Amy Hubbard – Casting – The Selfish Giant

SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
Sixteen Films & Friends (aka Team Loach)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Ben Mendelsohn – Starred Up

BEST BRITISH SHORT
Z1

MOST PROMISING NEWCOMER
Chloe Pirrie – Shell

THE RAINDANCE AWARD
The Machine

BEST INTERNATIONAL INDEPENDENT FILM
Blue Is The Warmest Color

VARIETY AWARD
Paul Greengrass

RICHARD HARRIS AWARD
Julie Walters