Julie Walters Wins Independent Film Award
Julie Walters said she was thrilled to win Outstanding Contribution to Film at the British Independent Film Awards (Bifas).
She told Sky News: "It feels wonderful to be honoured for something I've enjoyed doing for 40 years. It's a fantastic thing, I'm thrilled."
After a 40-year career in film and television she admitted 1982's Educating Rita stands out as a highlight because it was early on - but said Billy Elliot and Calendar Girls "stick out" too.
The Bifas aim to celebrate the strength of the British film-making sector.
The veteran actress said awards ceremonies focusing on British film-makers are crucial because they "shine a light on British film and they're a platform for new talent".
"Film is one of the most important industries this country's got so it's very important," she said.
Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was in London to support Philomena, nominated for Best Film and Best Acting awards for Steve Coogan and Dame Judi Dench.
His movie, co-written by Coogan, is based on the true story of a woman whose son was sold by nuns to America.
"Philomena is a wonderful movie with an important message," he said.
"The clergy never apologised for those acts and it would be great to push them into that."
However, Philomena and its stars Coogan and Dench went home empty-handed.
Instead, little-known film Metro Manila had a good night, taking home three awards, including Best British Independent Film and Best Director for Sean Ellis.
Scarlett Johansson, who was nominated for her lead role in Under The Skin, missed out to Lindsay Duncan, who took the Best Actress gong for Le Weekend.
James McAvoy won Best Actor for Filth.
Imogen Poots collected her Bifa for Best Supporting Actress for The Look Of Love and Ben Mendelsohn took home Best Supporting Actor for Starred Up.
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