Winners for the 67th annual British Academy Film Awards were revealed in a ceremony on February 16 at the Royal Opera House in London. "Gravity" dominated the pack with a total of 6 wins out of 11 nominations, while "12 Years a Slave" shone by taking home the coveted Best Film for one of its double victories that night.
Best Director went to "Gravity" helmer Alfonso Cuaron. "You cannot tell from my accent but I consider myself a part of the British film industry," he said during his acceptance speech. "I've lived in London part of the last 13 years and I've made half my films here. I guess I am a good case for curbing immigration."
He also thanked lead actress Sandra Bullock, "Without her performance everything would have been nonsense," before adding, "I want to share this award with all the artists that live 'downstairs' and made this film possible." He gave producer David Heyman a shout-out as well, calling him his "friend and partner."
Steve McQueen, meanwhile, thanked his mother for never giving up when he took the stage to accept the top prize for his true-story movie "12 Years a Slave". He also paid tribute to his cast, including Lupita Nyong'o whom he called "a star is born."
He added that 21 million people were still living in slavery around the world now. "I hope that, 150 years from now, our ambivalence will not allow another filmmaker to make this film," he said. Producer Dede Gardner dedicated the award to Solomon Northup, the person who inspired the movie.
The second prize for "12 Years a Slave" was given to Chiwetel Ejiofor for Best Actor in a Leading Role. "I'm so deeply honored and privileged to receive it," he humbly said, thanking McQueen "for his passion, his artistry...this is yours, by the way. I know that, you know that, I'm going to keep it, but it's yours." He praised his co-stars as an "extraordinary group...everybody brought an extraordinary passion."
Best Actress in a Leading Role was awarded to Cate Blanchett for her role in Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine". She dedicated her award to Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died of an apparent drugs overdose early this month.
Though missing out Best Film prize, "Gravity" still managed to win Outstanding British Film title. Best Supporting Actor and Actress, meanwhile, were given to Barkhad Abdi ("Captain Phillips") and Jennifer Lawrence ("American Hustle") respectively. Another winner was "Frozen (2013)" for Best Animated Film.
Helen Mirren was honored with BAFTA Fellowship award. Prince William and Jeremy Irons presented the special prize to the 68-year-old actress. The royal jokingly called her "granny," while the actor praised her as "one hell of a dame, of course she should be a BAFTA fellow, anything else would be an oversight."