British Independent Film Awards: Riz Ahmed's emotional speech as he wins achievement award

The event took place in London on Sunday, with a number of stars turning out for the occasion

English-Pakistani director Aleem Khan’s debut After Love dominated the British Independent Film Awards on Sunday, taking home six trophies.

The film, which tells the story of a widowed woman who learns a shocking secret about her husband’s life, won Best British Independent Film, as well as three awards for Khan, who took home Best Director, The Douglas Hickox Award for Best Debut Director and Best Screenplay. Actress Joanna Scanlan won Best Actress for her starring role and Talid Ariss won Best Supporting Actor.

Elsewhere, Vinette Robinson won the Best Supporting Actress award for her role in Boiling Pot, while the Best Actor award went to Clio Barnard for his role in Ali & Ava.

Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s animated picture Flee, which tells the real-life story of a child refugee from Afghanistan, won Best International Independent Film.

Scroll through the gallery above to see pictures from the red carpet.

Riz Ahmed was awarded the The Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Actor to British Film.

“My family told me everything there is to know about storytelling and acting,” Ahmed said in his acceptance speech. “I want to thank my wife for teaching me that to tell a story is to open your heart. I want to thank my sister for just being so dramatic.

“I want to thank my brother who’s faced down so many demons for me both real and imagined, and I want to thank my parents who taught me every day through example, what it is to tell a story, what it is to act. And the way they showed me this was every day five times a day, they would stand before the creator, before creativity itself, and empty themselves of ego and let something bigger than themselves and other than themselves take its place. And that’s what it is to tell a story.”

His eight-minute speech received a standing ovation from the audience at London's Old Billingsgate.

Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast, which received 11 nominations, did not win any awards on the night.

Updated: December 6th 2021, 9:50 AM