No surprises about winners

While not quite in the league with the AFI’s life achievement award, BAFTA-LA’s have become more numerous and were Webcast Tuesday from the BevHilton.

BAFTA-LA chairman Arnold Schwartzman called the increase in the kudocount from one to four “a very good thing.” He noted that the Web site received 40,000 visits.

There were no surprises about who would receive the awards — Stanley Kubrick, Aaron Spelling, the British Broadcasting Corp. and Tarsem.

Accepting the award for excellence in film, renamed the Stanley Kubrick award for the late auteur, was his widow, Christiana. Warner Bros.’ Terry Semel, who presented the award, said co-chairing the dinner with his partner, Bob Daly, was one of their last official tasks as Warner toppers.

Receiving his award from Paramount head of TV Kerry McCluggage, Spelling said: “This award is very, very special to me. If we didn’t sell our shows in Britain, we couldn’t do our shows.”

“The award for the best BBC goes to the BBC,” started Monty Python alum Eric Idle. Alan Yentob accepted the kudos for corporate excellence with “I’m incredibly proud of the achievements of the past 77 years, but don’t underestimate the future.”

David Fincher presented Tarsem his award, recalling that the India native, “dressed in turban and silk shoes, was seducing agencies and getting final cut. We all hated him.”

The director of commercials for Levis and Anne Klein said the award had an unreal feeling. “I thought the kitchen would grab me and say, ‘You have to wash the dishes.'”

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