Gig-economy Western “Nomadland” won four prizes including best picture at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) last night. The awards were given during a pandemic-curbed ceremony that recognized a diverse array of screen talent. “Nomadland” filmmaker Chloe Zhao became only the second woman, and the first woman of color, to win the BAFTA for best director, and star Frances McDormand was named best actress. “Nomadland” also took the cinematography prize. Emerald Fennell’s revenge comedy “Promising Young Woman” was named best British film, while the best actor trophy went to 83-year-old Anthony Hopkins for playing a man grappling with dementia in “The Father.”
The event rewarded a diverse group of talents, including Black British star Daniel Kaluuya, newcomer Bukky Bakray – who shone as a London teenager in “Rocks” – and veteran Korean actress Yuh-Jung Youn.
The fact that Britain remains under coronavirus lockdown measures, with its movie theaters still closed, gave the evening a poignant tone, as did the death on Friday of Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, a long-time patron of the British film academy.The ceremony opened with a tribute to Philip, who was the academy’s first president in 1959.
Presenters including Hugh Grant, Tom Hiddleston, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Priyanka Chopra Jonas announced the winners from the stage of London’s Royal Albert Hall, but recipients accepted their honors remotely, and there was no black-tie audience to cheer them on.
India’s Netflix film, The White Tiger, was nominated for two categories film awards – best actor and best adapted screenplay. However, neither actor Adarsh Gourav, nor Ramin Bahrani won the awards.