The latest awards ceremony in a hectic period of red carpet affairs focussed on rewarding British Isles Film talent, as the annual London Evening Standard British Film Awards took their bow recently. Prominent among the winners on the night were established stars Idris Elba and Dame Maggie Smith, whilst “Game of Thrones” actress Maisie Williams scooped the ‘Rising Star’ prize.

More prizes for Elba

Elba has been making something of a habit of picking up his fair share of accolades over the last few weeks. After bagging a brace of prizes at the Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony, the “Luther” star continued his rich vein of success by winning the best actor category at the weekend.

His challenging portrayal of a fierce warlord - against the backdrop of a civil war in Africa - in “Beasts of No Nation” has been somewhat controversially overlooked for the Oscars. Yet the 43-year-old at least had the consolation of edging out Michael Fassbender at the Evening Standard shindig.

Fassbender was doubly disappointed after being nominated twice for the award, both for his leading roles in “Steve Jobs” and for “Macbeth”.

Courtenay among nominees

Tom Courtenay’s continued renaissance saw the veteran star of stage and screen also among the nominees that Elba had to overcome for his award. Courtenay appears as part of the ensemble British cast in the remake of “Dad’s Army” that went on general release recently but it was his acclaimed performance in “45 Years” that went unrewarded this time.

Best film award

There was no joy for45 Years” in the best film category neither, as the John Crowley-directed “Brooklyn” surprised the tipsters and took the top prize instead. Also among those films nominated were “The Lobster” and “High-Rise”.

Dame Maggie delighted

A delighted Maggie Smith received her fourth best actress prize at the annual event thanks to her role as the eccentric bag lady in “The Lady in the Van”.

The sprightly 81-year-old “Downton Abbey” star had previously taken the honour in the late 70s in Neil Simon’s comedy vehicle “The California Suite”, repeating the feat in 1981 and 1988.

Special award for Bennett

Alan Bennett was presented with the ‘Special Award’ in recognition of his contribution to British film over the years.

Keeping “The Lady in the Van” theme going – Bennett wrote the screenplay – it was only fitting that the man who portrayed Bennett in the film, Alex Jennings presented the award.

‘Rising Star’ award

Proving that the future of the British film industry is in safe hands, 18-year-old Maisie Williams received the ‘Rising Star’ prize for her role in the mystery drama “The Falling”. Having drawn critical acclaim and accolades already in her fledgling acting career as Arya Stark in the popular “Game of Thrones” series, besides guest starring in several “Doctor Who” episodes, her star continues to glow brightly.

Founded in 1973, ‘The Standard Awards’ are unique among the ceremonies on the calendar in that they are the only ones dedicated to British and Irish talent. This year’s ceremony was held at the BBC’s former Television Centre in White City with the judging panel formed from some of the UK’s top film critics.