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Did UK Film Peak With ‘King’s Speech’ Win?

UK press over here are gushing that The King’s Speech quadruple Oscar major wins – Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay – will be a boost for the British film industry. But I would say it’s all downhill from here. Consider the evidence. Beginning next April, there will be no UK Film Council coordinating British Film plc. Tanya Seghatchian, head of the UK Film Council film fund — which invested just over £1 million in The King’s Speech — says the pic’s success is a “magnificent final chapter for the UK Film Council”. Of course, Seghatchian and her team will move across to new film body the British Film Institute, but people I’ve spoken to are afraid there will be no encouragement to invest in commercial British films such as The King’s Speech or Streetdance 3D. Instead, the impetus will be in to back arthouse movies, which is what the BFI has always done going back to the 1950s. Even speaking to reporters backstage at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, Firth called the decision to scrap the UKFC “short-sighted”. His sentiments were echoed by his producer Iain Canning, who said “it wouldn’t have been made without the UK Film Council”. The UKFC’s equity slug meant “they occupied a place within the finance plan that nobody wanted to inhabit,” he said.

Interestingly, the UK government’s culture department has … Read More »

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OSCAR: Hammond Analyzes BAFTA Impact

Pete Hammond

Ever since the British Academy of Film and Television Arts several years ago moved their honors ceremony to coincide with Hollywood’s awards season, it’s been hit and miss as a predictor of the Oscars. Even though there is probably a crossover of about 600 members in both organizations. This year’s results giving a near-sweep, but very significantly not complete sweep, to hometown favorite The King’s Speech did little to change the status of that film’s Oscar chances in certain key categories. It already is the frontrunner for Best Picture, and for Colin Firth as Best Actor, and for David Seidler’s Best Original Screenplay. So tonight’s BAFTA wins just add to the pile of its big Hollywood Guild wins here.

In the Supporting categories winner, Helena Bonham Carter did not have to contend with Oscar frontrunners Melissa Leo and Hailee Steinfeld who weren’t nominated by BAFTA. (Steinfeld was competing in lead while Leo was snubbed.) And the absent Geoffrey Rush’s triumph over Oscar frontrunner Christian Bale also was not surprising since The Fighter found little support in overall BAFTA nominations.

But DGA winner Tom Hooper’s loss here to The Social Network’s David Fincher is intriguing. It could mean voters may be thinking about a split ballot. The facebook origins film also won Adapted Screenplay for Aaron Sorkin as well as defeated The King’s Speech in the ever-significant Film Editing category, too. That means both films collected exactly half of their BAFTA nomination total with TKS garnering 7 out … Read More »

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2011 BAFTA Winners: ‘The King’s Speech’ Sweeps 7 Awards Including Best Film; David Fincher, Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter

Tonight Oscar favorite Colin Firth won a second consecutive Lead Actor BAFTA (the British Oscars) at this year’s awards ceremony held at the Royal Opera House in London. He won the British Academy of Film and Television Arts prize for his role in A Single Man last year and this time was honoured for playing George VI in The King’s Speech. The late Rod Steiger was the last star to win the best actor BAFTA two years’ running (for The Pawnbroker in 1967 and In The Heat Of The Night in 1968). The King’s Speech nearly swept with 7 awards (it had 14 nominations in all). The Social Network won 3 awards including Best Director for David Fincher. Black Swan won one award for Natalie Portman in Lead Actress. Inception won 3 awards, Alice In Wonderland capured 2 awards, and both True Grit and Toy Story 3 took 1 each. The Orange Wednesdays Rising Star award, voted by the public, went to actor Tom Hardy. Jonathan Ross hosted this year’s ceremony. Sir Christopher Lee was honoured with the British Academy’s prestigious Fellowship while the Harry Potter films was given BAFTA’s Outstanding British Contribution To Cinema:

2011 BAFTA WINNERS (keep refreshing for updates)

BEST FILM

THE KING’S SPEECH – Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Gareth Unwin

LEADING ACTOR

COLIN FIRTH – The King’s Speech

LEADING ACTRESS

NATALIE PORTMAN – Black Swan

DIRECTOR

THE SOCIAL NETWORK – David Fincher… Read More »

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BAFTA Awards Harry Potter Film Franchise

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is delighted to announce that the Harry Potter film series will receive the award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema at this year’s Orange British Academy Film Awards. JK Rowling and David Heyman will receive the award on behalf of the franchise during the ceremony at London’s Royal Opera House on Sunday 13 February 2011.

Awarded annually, the award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema was introduced in 1978 and is presented in honour of Michael Balcon. The first recipients were the Special Visual Effects team for Superman and others include Kevin Brownlow, Mike Leigh, Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jarman, Working Title, Lewis Gilbert, Channel Four Films and Pinewood & Shepperton Studios.

Starting in 2001 with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the film franchise from Warner Bros. Pictures has defined a decade of British filmmaking. As well as continually introducing exciting new performers to a global audience, the films have built a reputation for showcasing the wealth of British stage and screen acting talent.

The Harry Potter films have not only created stars in front of the camera, but have also highlighted the expertise within the British craft and technical industries, supporting a vast array of jobs throughout production. Their contribution to the British filmmaking industry was underlined last year when Warner Bros. Pictures, which has shepherded the film series from its inception, purchased Leavesden Studios in Hertfordshire. Leavesden Studios has been the Harry Potter

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