British Independent Film Awards: Charlotte Wells’ “Aftersun” & Georgia Oakley’s “Blue Jean” Lead Noms

Nominations for the 2022 British Independent Film Awards are in, and two directorial debuts from women lead the pack: Charlotte Wells’ “Aftersun,” the toast of the festival circuit since it debuted in Critics Week in Cannes, and Georgia Oakley’s “Blue Jean,” which took home the Giornate degli Autori People’s Choice Award from Venice Film Festival, where the drama made its world premiere.

“Aftersun” scored a whopping 16 nominations. Set at a seaside resort in Turkey, the film depicts a pre-teen girl (newcomer Frankie Corio) on vacation with her young father (Paul Mescal, “Normal People”).

“Blue Jean,” a portrait of a lesbian teacher (Rosy McEwen, “The Alienist”) forced to live a double life, landed 13 nominations.

Three of the five titles up for Best British Independent Film are directed by women. Joining “Aftersun” and “Blue Jean” is “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande,” Sophie Hyde’s dramedy about a retired school teacher (Emma Thompson, “Cruella”) who hires a sex worker (Daryl McCormack, “Peaky Blinders”) to help her check off items on her sexual bucket list.

Wells, Oakley, and Hyde account for three of five helmers up for Best Director.

Four of the five films in the running for Best Screenplay are written or co-written by women. Wells and Oakley are being recognized alongside “Good Luck to You Leo Grande’s” Katy Brand and “The Wonder” co-writers Alice Birch and Emma Donoghue. Led by Florence Pugh, “The Wonder” follows a nurse summoned to a devout community to conduct a weeks-long examination of an 11-year-old girl (Kíla Lord Cassidy, “Viewpoint”) who claims not to have eaten for months.

Actors up for honors include Pugh, “God’s Creatures’” Emily Watson, and “Emily’s” Emma Mackey.

The British Independent Film Awards will take place December 4. Head over to The Hollywood Reporter to check out all of the nominees. Docs up for awards include “Nothing Compares,” Kathryn Ferguson tribute to controversial Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor, and “Hide & Seek” (“Nascondino”) Victoria Fiore’s portrait of a 12-year-old boy living in inner-city Naples.

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