Michael Fassbender, Gemma Arterton and Ken Loach among BIFA 2016 nominees

Actors Michael Fassbender, Gemma Arterton and Shia Labeouf and director Ken Loach have been tipped for prizes at this year's British Independent Film Awards (Bifa).

I, Daniel Blake, American Honey and Under The Shadows were among the films to feature most highly across the 16 categories of nominations, announced on Tuesday by actors Douglas Booth and Ophelia Lovibond.

Now in its 18th year, the awards celebrate the most innovative and creative productions by film makers in the UK, often confronting key contemporary socio-political issues.

Elliot knows pretty much every name in British.
Elliot knows pretty much every British name in film (Yui Mok/PA)

Bifa founder, Canadian-born Elliot Grove, who also founded the Raindance Film Festival, said: "British film can't be put in a box.

"The reason we started Bifa almost 20 years ago was to shine a spotlight on British talent. Film is one of the main exports from this small, damp and dirty island.

"Britain is one of the most diverse countries ethnically and culturally in the world, and just because you are in Britain making a film makes it, whatever it is, British."

Nominations for the top title of Best British Independent Film of the year included: American Honey, I, Daniel Blake, Notes On Blindness and Under The Shadow.

Ken has wowed again with I, Daniel Blake.
Ken has wowed again with I, Daniel Blake (Joel Ryan/Invision/AP/PA)

Hayley Squires (I, Daniel Blake), Jodi Whittaker (Adult Life Skills), Kate Dickie (Couple In A Hole), Narges Rashidi (Under The Shadow) and Sasha Lane (American Honey) were tipped for best actress, while Dave Johns (I, Daniel Blake), Max Records (I Am Not A Serial Killer), Michael Fassbender (Trespass Against Us), Shia Labeouf (American Honey) and Steve Brandon (My Feral Heart) were nominated for best actor.

This year's Variety Award for creating the biggest global impact focussing on UK film goes to Naomie Harris, who took on the role of Moneypenny in last year's smash hit James Bond instalment, Spectre.

Among the best directors are Andrea Arnold (American Honey), Babak Anvari (Under The Shadow), Ben Wheatley (Free Fire), Ken Loach (I, Daniel Blake) and Peter Middleton and James Spinney (Notes On Blindness).

Special recognition for Naomie.
Special recognition for Naomie (Grant Pollard/AP/PA)

I, Daniel Blake pays particular attention to social welfare in the UK as it follows the life of a carpenter struggling to confront the system.

Elliot said: "Film-makers have a moral challenge - as Ken Loach makes us aware - and an entertainment challenge. How do you titillate or amuse or scare an audience?

"I've lived here for many years now and I'm proud to be British, looking at the rich and diverse and talented collection of films we've announced here today."

In the lead-up to the announcement of the winners on Sunday December 4, the full list of nominations include...

For best supporting actress: Avin Manshadi (Under The Shadow), Gemma Arterton (The Girl With All The Gifts), Naomie Harris (Our Kind Of Traitor), Shana Swash (My Feral Heart), and Terry Pheto (A United Kingdom).

Gemma in Switzerland for The Girl With All The Gifts.
Gemma in Switzerland for The Girl With All The Gifts (Alexandra Wey/AP/PA)

For best supporting actor: Arinze Kene (The Pass), Grett Goldstein (Adult Life Skills), Christopher Lloyd (I Am Not A Serial Killer), Jamie Dornan (Anthropoid), Sean Harris (Trespass Against Us).

For this year's new award of breakthrough producer: Camille Gatin (The Girl With All The Gifts), Dionne Walker (The Hard Stop), Michael Berliner (Adult Life Skills), Mike Brett, Jo-Jo Ellison and Steve Jamison (Notes On Blindness), and Paul Fegan (Where You're Meant To Be).

For best international independent film: Hunt For The Wilderpeople (Taika Waititi, Carthew Neal, Matt Noonan, Leanne Saunders), Manchester By The Sea (Kenneth Lonergan, Kimberly Steward, Matt Damon, Chris Moore, Lauren Beck, Kevin J Walsh), Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner), Mustand (Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Alice Winocour, Charles Gillibert), and Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, Janine Jackowski, Jonas Dornbach, Michel Merkt).

Global team get involved with Manchester By The Sea.
Global team get involved with Manchester By The Sea (Arthur Mola/AP/PA)

For this year's new award of debut screenwriter: Ed Talfan (The Passing (Yr Ymadawiad)), Hope Dickson Leach (The Levelling), John Cairns and Michael McCartney (A Patch Of Fog), Rachel Tunnard (Adult Life Skills), and Simon Farnaby and Julian Barratt (Mindhorn).

For best British short: Jacked (Rene Pannevis, Ashish Ghadiali, Jennifer Eriksson), Mother (Leo Leigh, Scott O'Donnell), Over (Jorn Threlfall, Jeremy Bannister), Rate Me (Fyzal Boulifa, Taina Galis), The Wrong End Of The Stick (Terri Matthews, Chris Cornwell, Sam Bank).

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