Monday, February 17, 2014

Chiwetel Ejiofor Wins best actor for' 12 Year a Slave' at BAFTA

LONDON (AFP) – "12 Years a
Slave", the distressing tale of a
man sold into slavery, was the
big winner at the Baftas on
Sunday, giving the Steve
McQueen directed picture a huge
pre-Oscars boost.

The film, adapted from Solomon
Northup's 1853 memoir, took the
coveted best film prize at a star-
studded ceremony at London's
Royal Opera House.

It scored an earlier success when
British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor,
who portrays free black man
Northup as he is kidnapped and
enslaved in the United States,
walked away with the best actor

Chiwetel Ejiofor poses with the
Ejiofor said he was "so deeply
honoured and privileged" to
receive the award and praised

"This is yours by the way, I know
that, you know that," he told the
director. "I'm going to keep it but
it's yours".

London-born McQueen used his
acceptance speech to thank his
"one and only mother" and to
highlight the issue of modern
day slavery.

"There are 21 million people in
slavery as we sit here," he
explained. "I just hope 150 years
from now our ambivalence will
not allow another film-maker to
make this film".

McQueen's work beat off
competition from crime-comedy
"American Hustle", pirate drama
"Captain Phillips", space sci-fi
thriller "Gravity" and
"Philomena", the tale of an
Irishwoman searching for a son
taken by nuns.

However, "Philomena" did win in
the adapted screenplay category.
Leading actor Steve Coogan
praised the "real Philomena Lee",
revealing that she was in the
Rising star Jennifer Lawrence
won the best supporting actress
award for her role in "American
Hustle" and Barkhad Abdi
claimed the best supporting
actor prize for his portrayal of a
Somali pirate in "Captain Phillips".

McQueen missed out on the best
director award, which instead
went to Mexican Alfonso Cuaron
for "Gravity".
Accepting his award, he said:
"You can not tell from my accent
but I consider myself a part of
the British film industry".

The stellar adventure enjoyed a
hugely successful evening,
receiving six prizes.
Australian Cate Blanchett paid
tribute to late colleague Philip
Seymour Hoffman, calling him "a
continual profound touchstone",
as she claimed her best actress
award for her part in Woody
Allen's "Blue Jasmine".
"Phil, buddy, this is for you, you
bastard," she said. "I hope you're

- Jolie surprise appearance -
The British Academy of Film and
Television Arts awards are the
highlight of the British film
calendar and a useful guide to
which way the Academy Awards
might go on March 2.
Hollywood stars including
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
rubbed shoulders with British
royalty at the glitzy ceremony.

The superstar couple made an
unexpected appearance on the
red carpet in matching tuxedos
and signed autographs for
hordes of fans camped outside
the venue.

Bafta president Prince William
was also at the ceremony, which
was hosted for a ninth time by
actor Stephen Fry.

He opened proceedings with a
tribute to Helen Mirren, who
received Bafta's highest accolade,
the Academy Fellowship "in
recognition of her exceptional
contribution to film".

Mirren, who has played Elizabeth
II on stage and screen, was
presented with the award by
William, who called her "an
extremely talented British actress
who I should probably call

The 68-year-old actress quoted
Shakespeare's Tempest during
her acceptance speech.
"We are such stuff as dreams are
made on and our little life is
rounded with a sleep," she said.

"My little life is rounded with this
honour, thank you very much
The British capital has recently
suffered freak storms, but
conditions were fine if cold on
Sunday, allowing stars to dazzle
on the red carpet.

Mirren wore a navy blue dress
with chiffon sleeves while fellow
dame Judi Dench, nominated for
best actress, wore a dark velvet
gown with turquoise cuffs.
Oscar-winner Emma Thompson
arrived wrapped up in a red
dress and white coat with a
huge furry collar, while
"American Hustle" star Amy
Adams posed for photographers
in a floor-length black gown
from Victoria Beckham.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Christian Bale
and Tom Hanks, all nominated in
the Best Actor category, were
also in London for the event.

BAFTAs 2014 winners
Best Film – 12 Years A Slave
Outstanding British Film —
Director — Alfonso Cuaron,
Actor — Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12
Years a Slave"
Actress — Cate Blanchett, "Blue
Supporting Actor — Barkhad
Abdi, "Captain Phillips"
Supporting Actress — Jennifer
Lawrence, "American Hustle"
Rising Star — Will Poulter
Original Screenplay — Eric
Warren Singer and David O.
Russell, "American Hustle"
Adapted Screenplay — Steve
Coogan and Jeff Pope,
Film Not in the English Language

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