Born in Rwanda in 1992, Ncuti Gatwa's family fled the genocide in their country two years later and settled in Edinburgh. The former Boroughmuir High School pupil has enjoyed a successful acting career on stage and screen, most notably in his breakthrough role in Netflix series Sex Education, and is set to become the 15th doctor in Doctor Who next year, becoming the first black actor in the prestigious TV role. Getty Images/Getty Images for EFA)
Capaldi received an outstanding achievement award in recognition of a 40-year career in film and television, which was launched when in Bill Forsyth cast hi in comedy-drama Local Hero, which Capaldi highlighted as the pivotal moment of his career.
Big winners included darkly comic crime drama Guilt, which was named best TV scripted show and saw creator Neil Forsyth honoured as best film and TV writer, ahead of prison drama Screw and submarine thriller Vigil, while Phyllis Logan – who presented Capaldi with his award – was named best TV actress.
Other winners included Dougray Scott, who was named best TV actor for his role as tortured detective Ray Lennox in Irvine Welsh’s series Crime, while Izuka Hoyle won the best film actress honour for her role as Camille in Boiling Point.
Heughan won the audience award ahead of Cox and Gatwa.
Capaldi said: "I really don’t know how it happened that Bill Forsyth came out of nowhere and picked an art student to be in Local Hero. I was just knocking about in bands in Glasgow at the time. I came back to my flat one night and he was sitting in the kitchen. The lady whose flat it was had been a costume designer for him. I had had a few drinks and was quite vocal. I obviously made some impression on him - he came to my next gig and said: ‘Do you want to be in a film?’
Asked if he had any advice for Gatwa, who has become the latest actor to be cast in the main role in Doctor Who, said: “I would just say that I was delighted that he is the next Doctor.
"He's a fantastic choice – I’m just thrilled for him and for the audience. I think he will do a fabulous job. There’s nothing that I can tell him, other than it’s a fabulous ride. You get to see humanity at its best from a very strange and privileged position.
The awards ceremony heard calls for the industry to rally in support of the campaign to secure the future of the Filmhouse cinema in Edinburgh after its operator called in administrators who have put it onto the open market.
Jack Lowden, who beat Capaldi to the best film actor award for Benediction, which they both starred in, said: “If you don’t know the Filmhouse, you should know it is the equivalent of the GFT in Glasgow. I’m going to use this opportunity to say something controversial – Edinburgh needs your help.
“The folk who lost their jobs are in our family – projectionists, ushers, box office workers, event organisers. We're either in this together or we are not. We’re all part of the same eco-system.
“It’s not just a good cause. All of us in this room have no cause with these cinemas. The stories we choose to tell and the issues that we choose to give voice to will remain untold and unheard without these independent cinemas.”
Heughan, who paid tribute to Outlander’s crew after receiving his award, said: “I was almost shouting at the audience because I am so passionate about the show. It has achieved so much for Scotland and it has helped nurture so much talent. I'm very proud of it.”
Forsyth recalled making the second series of Guilt under tight Covid restrictions at the start of 2021. Filming is underway on a third instalment, reuniting brothers Max and Jake, played by Mark Bonnar and Jamie Sives respectively.
Forsyth said: “You're trying to get actors to develop a chemistry as a relationship, but they couldn’t even socialise at all away from the set. They had to come from different hotel rooms, with different drivers.
"The great thing with the series we’re filming now is that the actors can get together, have a meal and have a few drinks.
"It’s been brilliant to get the brothers back together for the third series. It will be getting deeper into them and their families. There will be a few twists along the way but I don’t feel I’ve got anything left to give in terms of who they are and their relationship.
"The great thing about Guilt is that we’ve always brought in really good actors for each series.
"We’ve got a couple of really exciting names in the series we’re filming just now. Over the three series we've got to work with the absolute cream of Scottish acting. It’s been an absolute thrill.”
Logan said: “Neil Forsyth’s writing is just phenomenal. Guilt is so original – I don’t know another show like it. I don’t know where Neil gets his ideas from but his writing is what makes it stand out the way it does. It is a joy to be involved in something that I’m actually a fan of.”
Scott, who is filming a third series of Crime, said: “Irvine and I spent 12 years trying to get the show off the ground. You just don’t know how it is going to go.
“When we started working on the scripts I thought they were really, really good. The cuts looked pretty good too. Then it got the reaction and the reviews that it did. I’m just really proud to have been involved in it.
"I don’t want to say too much about the new series. It will be a bit darker, but a bit funnier as well. Lennox has gone away, had a breakdown and come back revive and refreshed. You think he has moved on to a different place, but you get drawn into his past a lot more in this series.”