8 Feb 2016

NZ-born producer's film snares top gong

5:24 pm on 8 February 2016

Brooklyn has been named film of the year at the London Evening Standard British Film Awards.

The film stars Saoirse Ronan in the story of a young Irish girl who goes to the US to seek a new life and is produced by Wellington-born Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey.

It beat favourite to win, 45 Years starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay.

Saoirse Ronan in the film Brooklyn  which has been nominated for three Academy Awards.

Photo: Supplied

Idris Elba was named best actor for Beasts of No Nation, while Dame Maggie Smith was named best actress for The Lady in the Van.

The awards, at the BBC's former Television Centre in London drew in big names from the acting world, including nominees Elba and Courtenay, Tuppence Middleton, Stanley Tucci, Matthew Perry and Vanessa Redgrave.

Brooklyn has also been nominated for best British film at the Baftas and Ronan is up for the best actress Bafta and Oscar. Ronan has already won best actress at the British Independent Film Awards.

The film is based on the novel by Irish writer Colm Toibin and has been adapted for the big screen by About A Boy screenwriter Nick Hornby, who is also up for an Oscar and a Bafta.

Dwyer told Nine to Noon Brooklyn was a very personal film for her, as she sees parallels with her own mother's journey to New Zealand in 1951 from Dublin.

Listen to Fiona Dwyer talk to Nine to Noon

"My mum used to say New Zealand houses had tin roofs just like the barns in Ireland, so I think it was probably quite a shock to the system for her, she was very homesick for a lot of our childhood."