Brits put the GREAT into Oscar party

Oscar nominees celebrate at consul general's home

The Brits saluted their above- and below-the-line Oscar nominees Friday at consul general Barbara Hay’s residence in Hancock Park with an early evening reception, organized by the government-backed GREAT Britain campaign.

“This gives me a chance to genuflect in front of all your geniuses,” Hay told the nominees. “There’s no better place to make films than the U.K., but this is your afternoon off.”

However for the many British Film Commission, BAFTA/LA and U.K. Trade and Investment execs in attendance it was a time to network.

Fiona Francois, West Coast director for U.K. Trade and Investment, said the org and the Great campaign, which started in 2011 with the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton and went on to include the 2012 London Olympics and the Queen’s diamond jubilee, complemented the work of BAFTA/LA and aimed to lure production across the pond.

“We want to focus on prosperity,” Francois said, adding that Blighty was adding TV incentives for high-end production besides the existing film perks.

“Everyone in the film industry is trying to find film franchises. If we can find one, we want to have them come for the right reasons,” said Kattie Kotok of the British Film Commission, adding that the U.K. has a strong crafts and business base. ” ‘Skyfall’ is a good one to add to the mix.”

Certainly 007 was in the mix not only in the form of Bond’s favorite martini and Aston Martin parked in front of the mansion but also the franchise’s producer Michael Wilson, Thomas Newman (nommed for score), thesps Jane Seymour and George Lazenby.

“Les Miserables” was repped among others by helmer Tom Hooper, producers Cameron Mackintosh and Debra Hayward plus nominees Mark Paterson and Andy Nelson; “Anna Karenina” nominees included Dario Marinelli, Jacqueline Durran, Seamus McGarvey and Katie Spencer. “Lincoln’s” contingent included nominees Joanna Johnston, Ronald Judkins plus Jared Harris. “The Pirates! Band of Misfits,” armada included Chris Butler, Peter Lord and Julie Lockhart.

“Searching for Sugar Man,” producer John Battsek, “ParaNorman” director Chris Butler and many more were among those milling around.