Photo Source: Dale Robinette

The British Academy Film Awards, London’s equivalent of the Academy Awards, celebrated and spread the love among many of the year’s buzziest films Feb. 12. The 70th annual BAFTAs ceremony, hosted by Stephen Fry at the Royal Albert Hall, handed top honors to Damien Chazelle and his awards-pillaging “La La Land,” an indicator of things to come at the Oscars in two weeks’ time.

READ: 12 Film Studios’ Awards Prospects Entering the BAFTAs

Chazelle’s movie musical took home five out of 11 Mask statues, including best film, director, original music, cinematography, and leading actress for Emma Stone. Again triumphing over Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Natalie Portman, and Meryl Streep, the actor has cleared the final hurdle in the Oscar race, solidifying her status as the category’s front-runner.

In accepting the award for best film, “La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz said, “There’s a lot of love in this community. And I think it’s our responsibility as artists and creators to take that and harness it, to create work that inspires joy, hope, and empathy, and challenges people…. Film, when it is at its best and most inspiring, reveals a fundamental human truth: that there is more tying us together than tearing us apart.”

READ: “La La Land” Is Damien Chazelle’s Ode to Working Actors

Ken Loach’s drama “I, Daniel Blake” won the BAFTA for best British film, but fell to Kenneth Lonergan and his “Manchester by the Sea” in the original screenplay category. The film’s star Casey Affleck took home yet another accolade for his leading performance, making him a strong Oscar contender—despite his recent SAG Awards loss to Denzel Washington, who was shut out of the BAFTA nominations. Washington’s “Fences” co-star Viola Davis, however, picked up another in a slew of statues as supporting actress.

The EE Rising Star Award, voted upon by the public, went to Tom Holland of imminent “Spider-Man” fame. Rounding out the acting awards was supporting contender Dev Patel for “Lion,” a film that also won for Luke Davies’ adapted screenplay. The British actor bested perceived frontrunner Mahershala Ali for “Moonlight,” which earned four nominations but no wins with the British Academy. The film has yet to be released widely in the U.K.

Nathan Lane, Simon Pegg, and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and president of BAFTA, presented the Fellowship to Mel Brooks. Accepting the Academy’s highest honor, the comedy legend said, “I think BAFTA has made unerringly good choices tonight, especially me. But I wanna tell you…to choose an American, mighty nice of you. Mighty nice.”

For a full list of this year’s BAFTA film winners, visit the Academy’s website.

Best Picture
“Arrival” (Paramount Pictures)
“I, Daniel Blake” (eOne Films)
***“La La Land” (Lionsgate)
“Manchester by the Sea” (Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions)
“Moonlight” (A24)

Best British Film
“American Honey” (A24)
“Denial” (Bleecker Street)
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” (Warner Bros.)
***“I, Daniel Blake” (eOne Films)
“Notes on Blindness” (Artificial Eye)
“Under the Shadow” (Netflix)

Best Director
***Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”
Tom Ford, “Nocturnal Animals”
Ken Loach, “I, Daniel Blake”
Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea”
Denis Villeneuve, “Arrival”

Best Actress
Amy Adams, “Arrival”
Emily Blunt, “The Girl on the Train”
Natalie Portman, “Jackie”
***Emma Stone, “La La Land”
Meryl Streep, “Florence Foster Jenkins”

Best Actor
***Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
Andrew Garfield, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Ryan Gosling, “La La Land”
Jake Gyllenhaal, “Nocturnal Animals”
Viggo Mortensen, “Captain Fantastic”

Best Supporting Actress
***Viola Davis, “Fences”
Naomie Harris, “Moonlight”
Nicole Kidman, “Lion”
Hayley Squires, “I, Daniel Blake”
Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea”

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”
Jeff Bridges, “Hell or High Water”
Hugh Grant, “Florence Foster Jenkins”
***Dev Patel, “Lion”
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, “Nocturnal Animals”

Best Original Screenplay
Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”
Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight”
Paul Laverty, “I, Daniel Blake”
***Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea”
Taylor Sheridan, “Hell or High Water”

Best Adapted Screenplay
***Luke Davies, “Lion”
Tom Ford, “Nocturnal Animals”
Eric Heisserer, “Arrival”
Theodore Melfi and Allison Schroeder, “Hidden Figures”
Robert Schenkkan and Andrew Knight, “Hacksaw Ridge”

EE Rising Star Award
Anya Taylor-Joy
Laia Costa
Lucas Hedges
Ruth Negga
***Tom Holland

Ready to make your big screen debut? Check out our film audition listings! And for acting advice, visit Backstage’s YouTube channel!



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