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University lecturer wins British Independent Film Awards

University lecturer and Turner Prize-nominated artist, Professor Richard Billingham, directed domestic drama ‘Ray & Liz’, which took home two key awards at the 2018 British Independent Film Awards. 

The film was originally nominated in three categories, including ‘Best Production Design’, but won ‘The Douglas Hickox Award’ (Debut Director) and ‘Breakthrough Producer’.

Richard, who is a Professor of Fine Art at the university, made his feature-directing debut with

Ray & Liz, the autobiographical film based on his family memories, particularly focusing on his parents Ray and Liz, their relationship, and its impact on his younger brother Jason. The film premiered at Locarno Festival in August, gaining a special mention jury prize, and has played festivals including London, Stockholm, Thessaloniki and AFI Fest.

Now in its 20th year, BIFA was founded by Elliot Grove and Suzanne Ballantyne in 1998, who also founded the Raindance Film Festival in 1993. The British Independent Film Awards highlight and reward the best, most innovative and creative independent filmmakers in the UK. 

Richard Billingham, Professor of Fine Art at the university, said:

“When I first started writing the film I had no idea whether it would be successful or not. The award has given me added momentum to create more films. The specialist knowledge and experience gained from working in both film and photography has directly fed into my teaching. It is important that our students are competent in both still and moving image, we want our graduates to be as adaptable as possible within the creative industries”.

For more information and the full list of nominations from the British Independent Film Awards visit their official website.