Tuesday, 23 February 2010

BAFTA event article

Here's my article for the Screenwriting degree show newsletter, as promised.

Orange British Academy Film Awards: the Sony Ericsson Film Lovers’ Forum review

Right next door to the main event an audience of film fans gathered in Linbury Theatre to watch the ceremony on a big screen. Lively debate was encouraged between the audience and the expert panel, producer Stephen Woolley, comedian Ben Miller and Time Out’s Dave Calhoun, led by Radio 4’s Francine Stock.

Calhoun began by announcing it has been ‘a great year for British and World Cinema.’ Testimony to his point home-grown stars, Colin Firth and Carey Mulligan went on to win best actor and best actress.

There was a definite fear that the event would be dominated by Avatar. Woolley argued that ‘no real Hollywood films have gripped or have shaken up the system. I’m slightly nervous what will win best film.’ He went on to compare Avatar to Mamma Mia, a comparison I’m sure James Cameron would love, calling it ‘more experience than cinema.’ The auditorium cheered as our trepidation was unfounded; ‘The Hurt Locker’ beat the 3D epic to pick up Best Film.

The panel were pleasantly surprised to see Fish Tank pick up Best British Film, ‘An Education’ seemed to be the clear favourite. The general feeling was that it has been a great year for new talent.

Groans echoed round the auditorium as Kristen Stewart picked up the Orange Rising Star Award. Woolley wryly commenting, ‘that’s why all the awards aren’t voted for by the public.’ Stewart, clearly embarrassed, thanked the fans of the Twilight Saga, some of whom are perhaps a little too dedicated it would seem.

Best Adapted Screenplay went to Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner for ‘Up in the Air.’ A surprise to everyone who thought a bias towards the British would mean a win for Nick Hornby for ‘An Education.’

Calhoun praised ‘The Hurt Locker’ for being ‘interesting, relevant and accessible.’ Mark Boal picked up Best Screenplay and Kathryn Bigelow Best Director.

Finally the audience were treated to a brief interview with the director and producer of ‘Exam.’ The film, nominated for Outstanding debut, is set entirely in one room, but for Miller ‘the most inspiring film of all the screeners,’ and an appearance by Carey Mulligan, still reeling from her win, and a very suave and charming, Colin Firth. This was rounded up by a quirky interview with Christoph Waltz. Stock praised him for nailing the Tarantino dialogue. He humbly quipped, ‘the Tarantino line nailed me.’

The photo is courteousy of Ben Eade/Goffphotos.com
BAFTA kindly emailed me some photos of the event. This was my favourite one!

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