AT the glittering London film award ceremony this weekend, she declared it a victory for "real" independent film making.

Now May Miles Thomas, the Scottish film maker whose self-funded, self-made movie, Voyageuse, won the Discovery Award at the prestigious British Independent Film Awards (BIFA), hopes the film can be more widely seen in cinemas.

Ms Miles Thomas researched, funded, shot, edited, and sound-designed the film, which premiered at the Glasgow Film Festival earlier this year.

The film, narrated by Sian Phillips, tells the story of the life of the film maker's late mother-in-law, Erica Thomas, in what Alison Rowat, The Herald's film critic, said is a "mesmerising and wonderful" film.

The movie is available to view online on the Vimeo platform, but now Ms Miles Thomas hopes the award will see the film in cinemas again: it has been screened in Glasgow, London, Dublin and Bristol.

She said: "We are really trying to get it out on the theatrical circuit, because that is the ultimate isn't it, although in my experience, audiences vary.

"Because I am having to fund all my expenses in taking it out on the road, it's not viable to do it, which is a shame - it is nice to see it on the big screen, because it was intended as a piece of cinema, as opposed to a bit of television.

"Time will tell - if any of the rep cinemas wanted to take it, I would be delighted."

On winning the award, the film maker - whose previous films include One Life Stand, Solid Air and The Devil's Plantation - said it was validation for the amount of work, time, effort and funds she had invested in the film.

"Obviously, I am delighted," she said.

"What does this mean for the film? It's a good question: we don't have any kind of distribution deal...but it will be interesting.

"Time will tell, it's probably a bit early to say whether it will attract any interest."

She added: "Of course it does help: it's an accolade that the industry as a whole will understand ....I had so many people coming up to me last night and saying 'Congratulations, well done'.

"I don't have an agent, I don't have anyone repping me, I do it all myself, it is all self-funded."

Ms Miles Thomas applied for Creative Scotland funding in 2014 for the film, as an arts project rather than as a movie, but did not receive backing.

She added: "I see [that] as really positive, because it means I fall back on my own resource - creatively, financially, and every which way - to get my work made.

"I am already working on my fifth feature film at the moment, and I don't need anyone's permission to do it.

"I've landed on a way of working that really suits me.

"I have to take all of the creative risks involved, and all of the financial risk, and it is film making for its own sake, it is not there to fill some kind of commercial remit."

The film follows Erica Thomas' life, spanning 70 years, from Hungary to the UK, and many points in-between.

On her blog, the film maker wrote: "My only aim was to make the best version of Erica’s story within my gift; a woman’s life that otherwise would go unremarked upon.

"For me, this is sufficient consolation."

The film has received plaudits, Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian wrote: "It is a deeply engaging kind of personal cinema, or essay cinema, or autobiographical cinema, touching on notions of family and secrecy, beautifully filmed and composed, mixing contemporary location shots with a trove of home movies and photographs.

Ms Miles Thomas yesterday met the British Film Institute (BFI), in a discussion over its online Filmography database.

It was launched in October last year, but has not included Ms Miles Thomas despite her noted career and awards.

"It was a positive meeting, and I think they are now going to include me, I say that with optimism," she said.

A spokeswoman for the BFI said that the Filmography was a online tool that was being constantly updated, and added that "we can confirm that we are talking to May about developing a methodology for adding feature films to the Filmography that have fallen outside our previous inclusion net."

The film maker, based in Glasgow, said she described herself as an "outlier, just getting on with it", and is now working on her fifth film.

On a recent blog, she wrote: "It’s not that I crave third-party endorsement but it seems there are two tiers of filmmaking in Scotland – the ‘official’ films, backed by public subsidy and widely promoted and those deemed as outliers, unworthy of support, regardless of how well-received they are by critics and audiences.

"Films are hard-won, particularly in Scotland where the level of indigenous production is depressingly low compared to that of say, Ireland or in mainland Europe.

"I would argue that once made, those self-made, self-funded films – and there are many – deserve support."

A Screen Scotland spokesperson said: “We’d like to congratulate May for winning the BIFA Discovery Award for Voyageuse, it’s a great achievement.

"It is brilliant that such a range of Scottish work and talent was nominated at this year’s BIFA Awards in an incredibly competitive year."