Alicia Vikander in Ex Machina
Alicia Vikander as A.I system Ava in Alex Garland's hit Ex MachinaUniversal Pictures International

Sci-fi hit of the year Ex Machina was the big winner at the 2015 Moët British Independent Film Awards on Sunday 6 December, walking away with four awards including for best picture. Alex Garland took two awards, best director and screenplay, and Andrew Whitehurst won outstanding visual effects for the film. The Artificial Intelligence drama is screenwriter Garland's first feature as a director and made around $37 million (£24.5m) at the box office since its release in January.

Tom Hardy and Saoirse Ronan took the best actor and actress accolades for their roles in Legend and Brooklyn respectively. Ronan in particular has been the subject of much awards buzz lately, focusing on her strong performance as an Irish immigrant in the Nick Hornby-written drama.

Ahead of the event, it was Yorgos Lanthimos' Cannes favourite The Lobster that looked the most likely to pick up multiple awards but in the end it walked away with just the one; a best supporting actress award for Olivia Colman. Brendan Gleeson beat his own son Domhnall (who starred in both Ex Machina and Brooklyn ) in the best supporting category, for his performance in Suffragette.

Legend
Tom Hardy plays both Kray twins in Legend, a dual performance that earned him best leading actor at the BIFAsUniversal Pictures

Kate Winslet, currently starring in both The Dressmaker and Steve Jobs on the big screen, was awarded the Variety prize, which recognises anyone who has made a global impact and helped to focus the international spotlight on the UK each year. The Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Actor to British Film was presented to Chiwetel Ejiofor.

The Special Jury Prize was presented to BFI executive Chris Collins, who died in late 2014. Director of the BFI Lottery Film Fund Ben Roberts said, "This is a really wonderful tribute to Chris. He is greatly missed, but his contribution to so many films and filmmakers continues to burn brightly. A heartfelt thanks to the BIFA jury."

Speaking about the event itself, chairman of the BIFA Board, Laurence Green said, "As part of our mission to build the widest audience we can for British independent film, it is BIFA's great honour to celebrate the cream of the crop once a year at the Moët British Independent Film Awards. This year's winners speak volumes, not just for their excellence but also for the undimmed ambition and beautiful diversity of the stories they tell."

Hosted by comic actor Richard Ayoade, the 18th BIFA ceremony was held at Old Billingsgate in London.

Here is a complete list of last night's winners:

BEST BRITISH INDEPENDENT FILM – Ex Machina

BEST DIRECTOR Alex Garland, Ex Machina

BEST ACTRESS Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

BEST ACTOR Tom Hardy, Legend

DOUGLAS HICKOX AWARD FOR BEST DEBUT DIRECTOR Stephen Fingleton, The Survivalist

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR Paul Katis and Andrew De Lotbiniere, Kajaki: The True Story

BEST SCREENPLAY Alex Garland, Ex Machina

BEST DOCUMENTARY Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story Of Dream Alliance

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Olivia Colman, The Lobster

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR Brendan Gleeson, Suffragette

Room
Room walked away with the title of Best International Independent FilmA24 Films

THE DISCOVERY AWARD Orion: The Man Who Would Be King

BEST INTERNATIONAL INDEPENDENT FILM Room (collected by up-and-coming star Jason Tremblay)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN CRAFT Andrew Whitehurst, Visual Effects, Ex Machina

BEST BRITISH SHORT FILM Edmond

MOST PROMISING NEWCOMER Abigail Hardingham, Nina Forever

Thanks to its number of wins on the night, Ex Machina will now be screened in 74 cinemas across the country on Sunday 13 December as part of a landmark BIFA screening series supported by the BFI. Tickets can be booked at discover.bifa.film.

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