Miners’ strike drama Pride, which features Huddersfield actress Jessica Gunning, has been named best film at the British Independent Film Awards.

The film, about an alliance between gay rights campaigners and pit workers during the 1984 strike, collected three awards in total.

Andrew Scott and Imelda Staunton won the best supporting actor and actress prizes for their roles in the film.

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Accepting the top award of the night, 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.”

Writer Stephen Beresford added that the film had one “simple, compelling message: unite”.

“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.”

See a gallery of Jessica's career so far in pictures below.

 

Jessica, 28, plays the wonderful Sian James - a wife of one of the miners who sort of found her voice during the strike, speaking out for both the miners and the gay supporters. From this she was then voted Labour MP for Swansea East - the first woman to win the seat.

The film went down a storm at the Toronto Festival and Jessica loved the attention.

She is a former student at Holmfirth High School, where her mother Val is still a drama teacher, and that was where she was bitten by the acting bug.

Pride was her first on the big screen but she is a well-known face on TV, starring as Angela in Law & Order alongside Bradley Walsh for the last five years.

She has also featured in series as varied as Doctor Who and Mutual Friends, as well as having appearances in Holby City, Doctors, Life of Riley and White Heat.