'Pride' was the big winner at the British Independent Film Awards taking home three prizes.

The movie, which is about an alliance formed between gay rights campaigners and pit workers during the 1984 miners' strike, was named Best British Independent Film, while Andrew Scott and Imelda Staunton were named Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress for their respective roles.

Upon accepting the Best Film gong at the ceremony held at Old Billingsgate Market on Sunday night (07.12.14), 'Pride' director Matthew Warchus said: ''We're getting reports from up and down the country of audiences standing up and applauding. That doesn't really happen in British cinemas. It's just extraordinary. It's a real tribute to the source material.

''When I was first told the story I was blown away by it - people ask, 'Is that really true?' It took 20 years to convince anyone that a film about vegan lesbian activists was a sure-fire hit.''

Benedict Cumberbatch missed out on the Best Actor prize to Brendon Gleeson for his performance in 'Cavalry', but was later presented with the Variety Award, which is presented to a candidate who has helped to ''focus the international spotlight on the UK''.

During his acceptance speech, Benedict - paid tribute to his fiancée Sophie Hunter - said: ''My god, I don't think I've ever been more nervous in my life. Oh holy crap. Thank you so much, it's a very strange experience to be in your own audience. It's a ridiculous honour to be here, not least because of the output and the standard of previous recipients. I feel this is a very premature way to acknowledge mine, but it will inspire me to work harder to feel like I deserve it, and that won't really be difficult because I love my job. I love my industry, I love the people I get to work with, a lot of whom are in this room, I love the communities and the families that each job brings together, and I love how proud we can all be in taking stock of moments like this, and how proud we can be as filmmakers in the UK who in spite, or maybe because of not having a studio system, is a world leader ... Congratulations to everyone here, and happy Christmas.''

Elsewhere, Gugu Mbatha-Raw was named Best Actress for her title role in 'Belle', Richard Linklater's 'Boyhood' was named Best Independent International Film, while 'Saving Mr Banks' star Emma Thompson took home the Richard Harris Award for outstanding contribution by an actor to British film.

Yann Demange was awarded the Best Director prize for helming thriller '71'.

British Independent Film Awards 2014 winners list:

Pride - Best British Independent Film

The Karman Line - Best British Short Film

Brendan Gleeson - Best Actor, Calvary

Gugu Mbatha-Raw - Best Actress, Belle

Sameena Jabeen Ahmed - Most Promising Newcomer, Catch Me Daddy

Iain Forsyth - Douglas Hickox Award (Directorial Debut), 20,000 Days on Earth

Jane Pollard - Douglas Hickox Award (Directorial Debut), 20,000 Days on Earth

Luna - Prêmio The Raindance

Imelda Staunton- Best Supporting Actress, Pride

Andrew Scott - Best Supporting Actor, Pride

Emma Thompson - The Richard Harris Award

Jon Ronson, Peter Straughan - Best Screenplay, Frank

Yann Demange - Best Director, '71

The Goob - Best Achievement in Production

Stephen Rennicks - Best Technical Achievement, Frank

Boyhood - Best Foreign Independent Film

Next Goal Wins - Best British Documentary

John Boorman - BIFA Special Jury Prize

The Karman Line - Best British Short Film

Benedict Cumberbatch - The Variety Award