Stars of The Last Tree shine at the British Independent Film Awards

Lead Sam Adewunmi and his co-star Ruthxjiah Bellenea both took home trophies at last night's ceremony

Best Newcomer: Sam Adewunmi

STARS OF The Last Tree scooped up trophies at last night’s British Independent Film Awards.

Sam Adewunmi, the film’s lead, took home the award for most promising newcomer and his co star, Ruthxjiah Bellenea was named best supporting actress.

The pair were each presented with a bespoke trophy created by British designers Fredrikson Stallard in collaboration with Swarovski.

Adewunmi plays Femi in Shola Amoo’s semi-autobiographical feature and secured his first lead in the film. Bellenea plays Femi’s classmate.

Shot across Lincolnshire, London and Nigeria, The Last Tree follows the life of Femi, who spends time being fostered by a white woman before being reunited with his Nigerian mother and moved into the capital.

Femi struggles with his identity and his relationship with his mother, played by Gbemisola Ikumelo, when he’s thrust into life in London.

Back in October when news of his nomination was announced, Adewunmi, who was also nominated for the best actor award, won last night by Josh O’Connor, tweeted: “Thank you @bifa_film for the recognition and nominations in the ‘Best Actor’ and ‘Best Newcomer’ categories at the 22nd British Independent Film Awards. truly honoured (and somewhat dazed).”

Now in its 20th year, The British Independent Film Awards recognise the best, most innovative and creative of independent filmmaking and filmmakers.

See the full list of winners below:

Best British Independent Film
For Sama

Best Director
Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts, For Sama

The Douglas Hickox Award for Debut Director
Harry Wootliff, Only You

Best Actress
Renée Zellweger, Judy

Best Actor
Josh O’Connor, Only You

Best Supporting Actress
Ruthxjiah Bellenea, The Last Tree

Best Supporting Actor
Hugh Laurie, The Personal History Of David Copperfield

Most Promising Newcomer
Sam Adewunmi, The Last Tree

Best Documentary
For Sama, Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts

Best Screenplay
Armando Iannucci, Simon Blackwell, The Personal History Of David Copperfield

Debut Screenwriter
Emma Jane Unsworth, Animals

Breakthrough Producer
Kate Byers, Linn Waite, Bait

The Raindance Discovery Award
Children Of The Snow Land, Zara Balfour, Marcus Stephenson, Mark Hakansson

The Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Actor to British Film
Kristin Scott Thomas

Special Jury Prize
Amanda Nevill

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