1917 triumphs at the 2020 BAFTAs

Sam Mendes’ war epic 1917 was the big winner at the 2020 British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) on Sunday night.The movie, which follows two British servicemen crossing enemy lines to deliver a vital message, won seven BAFTAs in total, including Best Fil…

Sam Mendes’ war epic 1917 was the big winner at the 2020 British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) on Sunday night.

The movie, which follows two British servicemen crossing enemy lines to deliver a vital message, won seven BAFTAs in total, including Best Film, Outstanding British Film, and Best Director for Mendes, as well as prizes for cinematography, sound, special visual effects, and production design.

Joker star Joaquin Phoenix claimed the Best Leading Actor prize at London’s Royal Albert Hall, while the Best Leading Actress award went to Renee Zellweger for her performance as Judy Garland in the biopic Judy, boosting their chances of Oscars glory next weekend.

Supporting acting honours went to Brad Pitt for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Laura Dern for Marriage Story.

Joker, Todd Phillips’ dark origin story for the DC Comics supervillain, led all nominees with 11 ahead of the event, but only bagged two other BAFTAs in addition to Phoenix’s win – for Best Original Score and Best Casting.

Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won’s script for Parasite won Best Original Screenplay, while Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit was named Best Adapted Screenplay. Parasite also triumphed in the Best Film Not in the English Language category.

Netflix’s festive adventure Klaus won Best Animated Film and For Sama was named Best Documentary.

Blue Story star Micheal Ward won the public-voted EE Rising Star Award, following in the footsteps of past winners Tom Holland, Kristen Stewart, Tom Hardy, John Boyega, and 2019 victor, Letitia Wright.

Andy Serkis was honoured with the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema accolade, while Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy was presented with the BAFTA Fellowship.

The 2020 BAFTAs were hosted by U.K. chat show host Graham Norton.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Best Film: 1917

Outstanding British Film: 1917

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Renee Zellweger – Judy

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Joaquin Phoenix – Joker

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Laura Dern – Marriage Story

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

EE Rising Star Award: Micheal Ward

Best Director: Sam Mendes – 1917

Best Original Screenplay: Taika Waititi – Jojo Rabbit

Best Adapted Screenplay: Han Jin Won and Bong Joon Ho – Parasite

Best Film Not In The English Language: Parasite

Best Documentary: For Sama

Best Animated Film: Klaus

Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director Or Producer: Bait

Best Original Score: Hildur Guđnadóttir – Joker

Best Casting: Shayna Markowitz – Joker

Best Cinematography: Roger Deakins – 1917

Best Editing: Andrew Buckland and Michael McCusker – Le Mans ’66

Best Production Design: Dennis Gassner and Lee Sandales – 1917

Best Costume Design: Jacqueline Durran – Little Women

Best Make Up & Hair: Vivian Baker, Kazu Hiro and Anne Morgan – Bombshell

Best Sound: Scott Millan, Oliver Tarney, Rachael Tate, Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson – 1917

Best Special Visual Effects: Greg Butler, Guillaume Rocheron and Dominic Tuohy – 1917

Best British Short Film: Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)

Best British Short Animation: Grandad Was A Romantic.

BAFTA Fellowship: Kathleen Kennedy

Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema: Andy Serkis

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Roger Deakins experienced anxiety shooting 1917

Famed cinematographer Roger Deakins experienced anxiety trying to shoot long takes in one go while making war film 1917.The Oscar-winning director of photography teamed up with Sam Mendes for the fourth time to shoot the war movie, which follows two so…

Famed cinematographer Roger Deakins experienced anxiety trying to shoot long takes in one go while making war film 1917.

The Oscar-winning director of photography teamed up with Sam Mendes for the fourth time to shoot the war movie, which follows two soldiers as they cross into enemy territory to deliver an important message which could save hundreds of lives. The film is presented to the audience in a single continuous shot, when in fact it was made of several long takes subtly stitched together.

During a press conference for the film in London, Deakins admitted he thought there was a mistake when he read about Mendes’s “single shot” idea on the screenplay, and he experienced anxiety during the challenging shoot.

“We did a lot of rehearsals and a lot of testing… I don’t think I’ve ever had as much anxiety as I did doing some of the shots on this,” he said. “Also, the thrill, because after some of the shots, which are seven or eight minutes, everybody’s got to be on the ball, at the end, everyone would look at each other and high five. It was a real high.”

Deakins, who won the Best Cinematography Oscar for Blade Runner 2049 in 2018 after being nominated 14 times, explained that the longest shot lasted around nine minutes and the shoot lasted around 65 days. The most challenging aspect of the film was trying to get over the uneven terrain and to make the footage look like one seamless take despite different locations and cameras.

“The major difficulty was getting across the terrain and doing some of those really intense, sensitive scenes and making it all seem like a piece,” the 70-year-old added. “I think for me the trick was to make it feel like one camera all the time, I think that was the biggest challenge really. That and the weather.”

1917 hits cinemas from 10 January.

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Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese sign open letter calling for reversal of Oscar changes

Filmmakers including Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee have written an open letter to the Academy calling on them to reinstate the Oscars categories they’ve relegated to the ad breaks. On Monday (11Feb19), John Bailey, President of the …

Filmmakers including Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee have written an open letter to the Academy calling on them to reinstate the Oscars categories they’ve relegated to the ad breaks.

On Monday (11Feb19), John Bailey, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS), announced that the winners of the Cinematography, Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling and Live Action Short categories would be presented with their Oscars during the commercial breaks and an edited version of their winning moment would be aired later in the broadcast.

The decision sparked outrage from members of the film industry who took to social media to condemn it, and now a group of filmmakers has come together to write a letter stating that “it’s not too late to have this decision reversed”.

“Relegating these essential cinematic crafts to lesser status in this 91st Academy Awards ceremony is nothing less than an insult to those of us who have devoted our lives and passions to our chosen profession,” they wrote in the letter, which was published on film outlets on Wednesday.

“Since its inception, the Academy Awards telecast has been altered over time to keep the format fresh, but never by sacrificing the integrity of the Academy’s original mission,” they continued. “When the recognition of those responsible for the creation of outstanding cinema is being diminished by the very institution whose purpose it is to protect it, then we are no longer upholding the spirit of the Academy’s promise to celebrate film as a collaborative art form.”

The letter was signed by more than 40 filmmakers, with directors such as La La Land’s Damien Chazelle, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Spike Jonze, Ang Lee, Dee Rees, and Seth Rogen, and Oscar-winning cinematographers Roger Deakins and Emmanuel Lubezki adding their names to it.

On Wednesday, a letter was sent from the AMPAS’ board of governors to members in which they cleared up “inaccurate reporting” and insisted that “no award category at the 91st Oscars ceremony will be presented in a manner that depicts the achievements of its nominees and winners as less than any others.”

They confirmed that all awards would be presented during the Los Angeles ceremony on 24 February, but those four would not be broadcast live to help streamline the show.

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