Vera Drake director Mike Leigh and actress Imelda Staunton were the big winners at last night's (06FEB05) 2004 Evening Standard British Film Awards in London.

The gritty drama about a 1950s illegal abortionist was named Best Film and Staunton - who is also nominated at this year's ACADEMY AWARDS CEREMONY (27FEB05) - was honoured as Best Actress.

Paddy Considine was named Best Actor for his performance in DEAD MAN'S SHOES; SHAUN OF THE DEAD star Simon Pegg picked up the Peter Sellers Award for Comedy; and Bridget Jones: THE EDGE OF REASON was voted Evening Standard Readers' Film of 2004 at the British capital's Savoy Hotel.

The Alexander Walker Special Award, which honours lasting contributions to the British film industry, was presented to Tim Bevan and ERIC FELLNER - the co-chairmen of WORKING TITLE films. The production company has produced a string of successes including My Beautiful Laundrette, Billy Elliot and About A Boy.

Nathalie Press and EMILY BLUNT shared the Best Newcomer award for their performances in My Summer Of Love, and director Pawel Pawlikowski took the Best Screenplay crown.

ROGER DEAKINS won the technical achievement award for his cinematography on The Ladykillers and The Village at the ceremony attending by DAME JUDI DENCH, Kim Cattrall, Charles Dance, Bill Nighy and Colin Firth.

07/02/2005 17:54