London, Thursday 17th November 2011 – Johanna von Fischer and Tessa Collinson, directors of The Moët British Independent Film Awards announced today that this year’s awards ceremony which will take place on Sunday 4th December at Old Billingsgate, will be hosted by actor and comedian Chris O’Dowd.
Following on from actor James Nesbitt who has hosted the awards for the past six years, and who this year becomes a Patron of the Moët British Independent Film Awards, this will be O’Dowd’s first time hosting the Moët BIFAs.
Hugely popular with British audiences and best known for his role in Channel 4’s cult comedy hit THE IT CROWD, O’Dowd has become an international star following his role as Officer Rhodes opposite Kristen Wiig in the phenomenally successful BRIDESMAIDS. His achievements as a comedic force here in Britain are now appreciated globally and he will soon be reuniting with his BRIDESMAIDS director, Judd Apatow for THIS IS 40 opposite Paul Rudd. O’Dowd’s other credits include DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS opposite Paul Rudd, Steve Carell and Zach Galifianakis, GULLIVER’S TRAVELS starring opposite Jack Black, Jason Segel and Emily Blunt and THE BOAT THAT ROCKED opposite Phillip Seymour Hoffman with Richard Curtis directing. He also starred in BIFA winners VERA DRAKE directed by Mike Leigh and FESTIVAL, which won him a BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Actor.
On the night, O’Dowd will introduce onto the stage, the presenters of the 18 categories which include the prestigious Best British Independent Film, sponsored by Moët & Chandon. SENNA, SHAME, TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, TYRANNOSAUR and WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN are all competing in this category.
Johanna von Fischer and Tessa Collinson said: “We are so thrilled that Chris will be our host this year, he couldn’t be more perfect for the job. A home-grown talent who embodies all the fun and laid-back charm that the Moët BIFAs have become known and loved for. It promises to be a hugely enjoyable night!”
O’Dowd commented: “I am delighted to be the new host of the Moët British Independent Awards this year and I’m really looking forward to the 4th of December. It’s a ceremony which cherishes innovation, elegance and class so I’m humbled that they’ve chosen a host who so clearly lacks any of these things. Expect dancing girls.”
It was also announced today that the Jury is now in place. 2000’s BIFA Producer of the Year winner, Andrew Eaton (THE KILLER INSIDE ME) will Chair the jury. The full line-up includes writer/director/producer Josh Appignanesi (THE INFIDEL), actress Gemma Arterton (TAMARA DREWE), casting director Lucy Bevan (AN EDUCATION), broadcaster Edith Bowman (BBC RADIO 1), editor of Screen International, Mike Goodridge, art director Neil Lamont (HARRY POTTER), actor Joseph Mawle (MADE IN DAGENHAM), photographer Mary McCartney, composer Molly Nyman (A MIGHTY HEART), director/writer Debs Paterson (AFRICA UNITED), Oscar nominated producer Tracey Seaward (THE QUEEN), producer Charles Steel (THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND), actor David Thewlis (WAR HORSE), actress Ruth Wilson (JANE EYRE) and editor Justine Wright (TOUCHING THE VOID).
The Moët British Independent Film Awards will be streamed live at www.lovefilm.com/MBIFA
Now in its 14th year, the Awards were created by Raindance in 1998 and set out to celebrate merit and achievement in independently funded British filmmaking, to honour new talent, and to promote British films and filmmaking to a wider public.
Previous winners of the coveted Best British Independent Film award include The King’s Speech, Moon, Control, Slumdog Millionaire, The Constant Gardener and This is England.
Recognised for its quality and prestige, Moët & Chandon is the champagne of choice for celebration at international film festivals. The venerable house has captured the attention of Hollywood’s brightest stars since the birth of the film industry. Generations of legendary actors, actresses, producers and directors have celebrated their achievements with Moët & Chandon at the most significant and exclusive cinema events, including the OscarsÒ & Golden GlobesÒ celebrations.
Proud supporters and patrons of The Moët British Independent Film Awards include Mike Figgis, Tom Hollander, Adrian Lester, Ken Loach, Ewan McGregor, Helen Mirren, Samantha Morton, James Nesbitt, Michael Sheen, Trudie Styler, Tilda Swinton, Meera Syal, David Thewlis, Ray Winstone and Michael Winterbottom.
The Moët British Independent Film Awards would like to thank all its supporters, especially: Moët & Chandon, The British Film Institute, 3 Mills Studios, BBC Films, Company 3, The Creative Partnership, Exile Media, M.A.C, Raindance, Soho House, Studiocanal, Swarovski, Variety, Working Title and Zander Creative.