A Shining Night for British Talent
British filmmaking talent, above- and below-the-line, was celebrated last night at the 2015 British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs). British acting was recognised most notably with London-born Eddie Redmayne taking home the award for Best Leading Actor for his stunning portrayal of physicist Stephen Hawking in Working Title’s The Theory of Everything and actor Jack O’Connell fending off tough international competition to win the EE Rising Star Award. O’Connell, who started his acting career on the British teen drama Skins, has had a stellar year – playing leads in UK film ’71 and Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken. He now follows in the footsteps of previous EE Rising Star winners Shia LaBeouf, Kristen Stewart and Tom Hardy.
Brits also helped tally up the trophies for Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, which won the most awards of the evening. These included the BAFTA for Best Hair and Make Up, awarded to Francis Hannon and Mark Coulier who worked together previously on UK-shot productions World War Z and X-Men: First Class, and Best Production Design Award for UK-based Set Decorator Anna Pinnock, along with Production Designer Adam Stockhausen. Stockhausen’s impressive credits include Into The Woods (for which she is Academy Award-nominated), Life of Pi and Skyfall.
US-based British Sound Editor/Mixer Ben Wilkins was also honoured for his work on Whiplash.
The awards last night yet again reinforced the UK as a global leader in the visual effects industry. Paul Franklin and Andrew Lockley from London VFX house Double Negative were part of the team awarded for Best Visual Effects for their work on Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. The same team have also been nominated for the Best VFX Academy Award, an award Double Negative previously won for Nolan’s 2010 film Inception.
The talent awarded at the BAFTA ceremony has proved the UK’s reputation for world-class filmmaking throughout all categories is as strong as ever and is even further emphasised by the number of nominations Brits have received for the upcoming Academy Awards, taking place on 22 February.