Articles: Gugu Mbatha-Raw wins British Indie Award




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Samantha Ofole-Prince

A firm favorite to win several accolades this season for her astounding performance in the movie "Belle" Gugu Mbatha-Raw took home her very first award at the British Independent Film Awards.

Inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, a mixed-race aristocrat who played an instrumental part in the UK’s historic move to abolish the slave trade, Mbatha-Raw plays the lead character "Belle."

She beat fellow contender Keira Knightley ("The Imitation Game") to receive the Best Actress accolade in the drama which is directed by Amma Asante and scripted by Misan Sagay.

"This is such a universally inspiring story and there is so much hope in it. Everybody can relate to the idea of not knowing where they fit in the world at some point or another," says Mbatha-Raw whose father is from South Africa.

Best British Independent Film was won by "Pride" Brendan Gleeson won Best Actor for "Calvary" and Imelda Staunton took home her award for Best Supporting Actress also for her role in "Pride." Emma Thompson was awarded the coveted Richard Harris Award for outstanding contribution by an actor to British film, and Benedict Cumberbatch the Variety Award, which recognizes an actor, director, writer or producer who has helped to shine the international spotlight on the UK. The Special Jury Prize went to John Boorman.

The winners were announced at the star-studded ceremony, held at Old Billingsgate in London and was hosted by actor Simon Bird.

Winners took home the iconic award designed by Fredrikson Stallard and created by Swarovski as well as a personalized, Swarovski crystal encrusted magnum of Moët & Chandon.

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