Published on: 13 February 2012 in Industry

The Artist wins big at BAFTAs

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Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist stole the show at this year’s BAFTA Film Awards, winning Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor for Jean Dujardin.

Hazanavicius saw off competition from Brit Lynne Ramsay in the Best Director category, who was nominated for her film We Need to Talk About Kevin. Also nominated were Nicholas Winding Refn for Drive, Tomas Alfredson (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and Martin Scorsese (Hugo), who could take consolation from being awarded this year’s BAFTA Fellowship.

The Artist also triumphed over Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Drive in the Best Film category, as well as Tate Taylor’s The Help and Alexander Payne’s The Descendants. Tinker Tailor Solider Spy did however fare better with Outstanding British Film, as Alfredson’s film overcame challenges from We Need to Talk About Kevin, Steve McQueen’s Shame, Simon Curtis’ My Week with Marilyn and Asif Kapadia’s Senna.

But Senna was not to leave the ceremony empty-handed either, winning as it did Best Documentary against James Marsh’s Project Nim, and Martin Scorsese’s George Harrison: Living in the Material World. Meanwhile, the award for Outstanding Debut by A British Writer, Director or Producer went to Paddy Considine and Diarmid Crimshaw, director and producer of Tyrannosaur respectively. Also nominated were Joe Cornish (director of Attack the Block), Ralph Fiennes (director of Coriolanus), Richard Ayoade (director of Submarine) and Black Pond's Will Sharpe (Director/Writer), Tom Kingsley (Director) and Sarah Brocklehurst (Producer)

In Animation, Gore Verbinski’s Rango was victorious over Sarah Smith’s Arthur Christmas and Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn in the feature category, whilst in shorts Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe’s A Morning Stroll beat Robert Yeah (by Bobby Morgan) and Abuelas, by Afarin Eghbal, Kasia Malipan, Francesca Gardiner.

Best Short Film went to Pitch Black Heist, directed by John Maclean. The film was nominated alongside Chalk (directed by Martina Amati), Mwansa The Great (by Rungano Nyoni), Only Sound Remains (by Arash Ashtiani) and Two and Two (by Babak Anvari).

Finally, the award for Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema went to actor John Hurt, star of such memorable productions as Alien, A Man for All Seasons, Nineteen Eighty-Four and The Elephant Man. After receiving a standing ovation from the audience, Hurt gave thanks in particular to his directors: 

“[for giving] me the opportunity to play some of the most wonderful parts that I would never in a million years have thought of for myself...the reason that I am standing here is that I am, basically, the addition of their imaginations. So I thank them all, from the bottom of my heart.”

Watch John’s acceptance speech below, and see the full list of winners here

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