Shane Meadows' critically acclaimed thriller DEAD MAN'S SHOES is leading the way at this year's (04) British Independent Film Awards with eight nominations.

Dead Man's Shoes, which was awarded the HITCHCOCK D'OR accolade at the DINARD BRITISH FILM FESTIVAL in France earlier this month (OCT04), has been nominated for Best British Independent Film, Best Director and acting accolades for stars PADDY CONSIDINE and Gary Stretch.

Following close behind, is English director Mike Leigh's abortion drama Vera Drake which is up for seven gongs in the ceremony, including Best Performance By An Actress for Imelda Staunton and Best Performance By An Actor for Phil Davis.

The winners are decided by a star-studded jury headed by Cold Mountain director Anthony Minghella and includes Helena Bonham Carter, Cate Blanchett, Christian Slater and Rosamund Pike and are announced at a ceremony in London's Hammersmith Palais on 30 November (04).

Besides the mostly British names, Scarlett Johansson is up for an acting accolade for her performance in Girl with a Pearl Earring while Australian actor Geoffrey Rush receives a nod for The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.

Michael Moore's anti George W Bush documentary FAHRENHEIT 9/11, ERNESTO 'CHE' GUEVARA biopic The Motorcycle Diaries and blockbuster Hero are fighting for the Best Foreign Independent Film title.

Harry Potter author Jk Rowling will be presented with the Variety UK Personality Award for her contribution to the movie industry.

27/10/2004 21:09