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BAFTA Awards: ‘12 Years a Slave’ Nabs Best Film Prize

'Gravity' wins six trophies including best director for Alfonso Cuaron at British awards

LONDON — Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity” led the field with six prizes at the BAFTA film awards, which unspooled at London’s Royal Opera House Sunday. “American Hustle” took three awards.

The BAFTA for best film went to “12 Years a Slave.” In his speech, helmer-producer Steve McQueen said that there were “21 million people living in slavery as we sit here now.” McQueen was joined at the event by fellow producers Anthony Katagas, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner.

The honor for leading actress went to Cate Blanchett for “Blue Jasmine.” She dedicated the award to “the late great Philip Seymour Hoffman.” “You raised the bar so very high… So, Phil, this is for you, you bastard. I hope you are proud,” she said.

Cuaron took the director prize for “Gravity.” He said he considered himself to be part of the British film industry as he had lived in the U.K. for 13 years, and had made half of his films in the country. “I guess I make a very good case for curbing immigration,” he joked — a reference perhaps to the ongoing debate in the U.K. about the benefits and costs of immigration.

The leading actor award went to Chiwetel Ejiofor for “12 Years a Slave.” He paid tribute to McQueen, and said that the award really belonged to the helmer. “It’s yours. I’m going to keep it, but it is yours,” he said.

The award for film not in the English language went to Paolo Sorrentino, Nicola Giuliano and Francesca Cima for “The Great Beauty.”

The award for special visual effects went to Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould and Nikki Penny for “Gravity.”

The adapted screenplay prize went to Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope for “Philomena.” Coogan thanked “the real Philomena,” who was in the audience. He said that she had had her voice heard in the Vatican, but there were thousands of other women who were still searching for their children.

The award for original screenplay went to “American Hustle’s” David O. Russell and Eric Warren Singer, who said he had been “breastfed at a very early age on British cinema.”

“American Hustle’s” Jennifer Lawrence nabbed the prize for supporting actress.

The prize for cinematography went to Emmanuel Lubezki for “Gravity.”

The award for supporting actor was picked up by Barkhad Abdi for “Captain Phillips.” He thanked the performers who played the other pirates in the film. “We came from nothing and I got this (the BAFTA),” he said.

The prize for outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer went to director-writer Kieran Evans for “Kelly + Victor.”

“Frozen’s” Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee took the award for animated film. They thanked the 600-strong cast and crew behind the production.

The BAFTA for original music was picked up by Steven Price for “Gravity.” He thanked his parents for paying for his record collection when he was a boy. The award for costume design went to Catherine Martin for “The Great Gatsby.”

The prize for hair and make up went to Evelyne Noraz and Lori McCoy-Bell for “American Hustle.”

The award for documentary was taken by Joshua Oppenheimer for “The Act of Killing.” Oppenheimer criticized the British and U.S. governments for their support for the Indonesian regime.

The prize for editing went to Dan Hanley and Mike Hill for “Rush.” Ron Howard accepted the award on their behalf.

“Gravity’s” Glenn Freemantle, Skip Lievsay, Christopher Benstead, Niv Adiri and Chris Munro picked up the BAFTA for sound.

The award for production design went to Catherine Martin and Beverley Dunn for “The Great Gatsby.”

Alfonso Cuaron and David Heyman nabbed the BAFTA for Outstanding British film for “Gravity.”

The BAFTA for British short animation was taken by James Walker, Sarah Woolner and Yousif Al-Khalifa for “Sleeping With the Fishes.”

The award for British short film went to James W. Griffiths and Sophie Venner for “Room 8.”

British writer-helmer Peter Greenaway received the award for outstanding British contribution to cinema. He said he saw the award as BAFTA’s “encouragement for the continual reinvention of cinema.” Helen Mirren received the BAFTA Fellowship, and paid tribute to her English teacher at school, and teachers everywhere.

Will Poulter took the EE Rising Star Award, which was voted for by the public. BAFTA paid tribute to Peter O’Toole, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Shirley Temple and Saul Zaentz, who all died in the past year.

The awards, which were hosted by thesp Stephen Fry, were attended by Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and nominated thesps Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Matt Damon and Christian Bale. Other nominated thesps attending included Oprah Winfrey, Sandra Bullock, Amy Adams, Michael Fassbender, Steve Coogan, Sally Hawkins, Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Bruhl, Emma Thompson, Bradley Cooper, Bruce Dern and Judi Dench.

Nominated helmers who attended were Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Cuaron, McQueen, David O. Russell and Paul Greengrass. Presenters and other attendees included Alicia Vikander, Benedict Cumberbatch, Christoph Waltz, Douglas Booth, Eddie Redmayne, Gillian Anderson, Helen McCrory, Imogen Poots, Jack Huston, Jeremy Irons, Joely Richardson, Juliet Stevenson, Luke Evans, Kiefer Sutherland, Maggie Gyllenhall, Matthew Modine, Michael Sheen, Niki Lauda, Ray Winstone, Richard E. Grant, Sam Claflin, Samantha Barks, Stanley Tucci and Uma Thurman.

Complete list of winners:

Best Picture: 12 Years A Slave

Best British Film: Gravity

Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity

Best Actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Best Supporting Actor: Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips

Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle

Best Original Screenplay: American Hustle, Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell

Best Adapted Screenplay: Philomena, Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope

Best Foreign: The Great Beauty, Paolo Sorrentino, Nicola Giuliano, Francesca Cima

Best Documentary: The Act of KillingJoshua Oppenheimer

Best Animation: Frozen, Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

Best Cinematography: Gravity, Emmanuel Lubezki

Best Editing: Rush, Dan Hanley, Mike Hill

Best Production Design: The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn

Best Costume Design: The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin

Best Make Up and Hair: American Hustle, Evelyne Noraz, Lori McCoy-Bell

Best Sound: Gravity, Glenn Freemantle, Skip Lievsay, Christopher Benstead, Niv Adiri, Chris Munro

Best Original Music: Gravity, Steven Price

Best Special Visual Effects: GravityTim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould, Nikki Penny

Best British Short Animation: Sleeping with the Fishes, James Walker, Sarah Woolner, Yousif Al-Khalifa

Best British Short Film: Room 8, James W. Griffiths & Sophie Venner

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer: Keiran Evans (Director/Writer), Kelly + Victor

The EE Rising Star Award (voted for by public): Will Poulter

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