Film Awards

British awards are conferred by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), British Film Institute Awards, Evening Standard British Film Awards, and London Film Critics Circle Awards. BAFTA awarded twenty of its top thirty awards (Best Film, Best Actress and Best Actor each year) to British talents in the 1990s. Since 1960, Britain has obtained top awards at the three major film festivals, Cannes, Berlin and Venice. Awards at Cannes were Best Director in 1993 to Mike Leigh (Naked), the 1996 Palme D’Or for Leigh’s Secrets and Lies, and in the same year Best Actress to Brenda Blethyn (also for Secrets and Lies). At Berlin, the 1994 Golden Bear went to In the Name of the Father, and the 1996 Golden Bear to Sense and Sensibility. At Venice, the Best Acress award in 1991 went to Tilda Swinton (Edward II). British directors receiving top awards at these festivals include Lindsay Anderson, Terence Davies, Isaac Julien, Neil Jordan, Carol Reed, Richard Lester, Ken Loach, Alan Parker, Tony Richardson, John Schlesinger, Ridley Scott and Peter Watkins.

Britain occupies second place (after the USA) in three of the most prestigious prizes (Oscars, New York Critics Awards and Cannes Festival), taking 25 percent of the awards in New York, 20 percent of the Oscars and 15 percent in Cannes since 1980. At the Oscars (awarded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences), the British tend to win in supporting roles and in American-made films. Yet, four of the fifteen people who have been most often nominated for Academy Awards are British: Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole, Deborah Kerr and Laurence Olivier. Three members of the Redgrave family have been nominated. During the period 1986–95, Emma Thompson had a record four nominations, seven people from Merchant-Ivory films received nominations, and The Last Emperor (UK/Italy 1987) won all nine Oscars for which it was nominated.

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