British Pakistani Director Aleem Khan’s directorial feature debut, picked up six awards at the 2021 British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs).
The film’s stars Joanna Scanlon, known for her performances in Notes on a Scandal (2006) and Getting On (2009) . The cast also includes Nathalie Richard, Talid Ariss, Nasser Memarzia.
"not in my wildest dreams did I think this would be happening tonight."
December 5, 2021
“After Love” took home the awards for the Best British Independent Film, Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and the Douglas Hickox honour for Debut Director.
The film tells the story of Mary, a Middle-aged White English Woman (played by Joanna Scanlan), who converted to Islam to marry a Pakistani ferry captain named Ahmed (played by Nasser Memarzia). After the death of her husband she discovers a devastating secret. Her husband had been living a secret life with his second family in France.
She then sets out across the English Channel to uncover the truth only to discover that husband had a longtime mistress, Genevieve (Played by Nathalie Richard), and a teenage son named Solomon (Played by Talid Ariss). The grieving widow then starts to doubt the realities of her marriage with Ahmed.
All we want for Christmas is... an armful of trophies, like Aleem Khan holding his four #BIFA2021 awards for After Love. 💙 pic.twitter.com/5C5bGcwh7G— BIFA (@BIFA_film) December 18, 2021
The film has strong cinematic elements, captivating shifts in tone, from domestic drama to psychological thriller then there is a lot of storytelling which is very visually intriguing in an accessible way.
Although the characters in the film are totally fictional, Khan draws on his experiences of growing up in a mixed-race environment. Just like Mary in “After Love”, Khan’s own mother is a white English woman who also converted to Islam for her Pakistani soulmate.
Scanlan spent a great deal of time with khan and his family which helped her understand the importance of her character to the story better.
It was a great night for the British-Pakistani community, where Riz Ahmed was honoured with the Richard Harris award , which is given to an actor or actress who has contributed significantly to British films throughout their career.
His big break came in “The Road to Guantánamo” , in which he played the role of one of three British Muslims detained at Guantanamo. He was named a Screen International Star of Tomorrow the same year the movie was released.
“I am grateful to the British independent film community for their immense support throughout all these years. To receive the Richard Harris Award at the BIFAs this year is a true honour, I hope to be able to continue to learn from those who came before me while encouraging the rising generation to follow their creative dreams”
December 5, 2021