UK Bafta success confined mostly to achievements behind camera

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UK success at the 2023 Bafta film awards was almost wholly confined to those categories that honoured achievements behind the camera.

The one exception was actress Emma Mackey, who has joint British and French nationality, and who took home the rising star award, which was voted for by the public.

None of the “big four” acting categories was won by British talent – only the sixth time this has happened since the current format of the Baftas was established in 1969.

The gongs instead went to an American (Austin Butler, winning best actor for Elvis), an Australian (Cate Blanchett, best actress for Tar) and two of the Irish stars of The Banshees Of Inisherin – Barry Keoghan and Kerry Condon, who received the Baftas for best supporting actor and supporting actress respectively.

(PA Graphics)

Lesley Paterson, former Scottish professional triathlete turned screenwriter, was one of the trio to win best adapted screenplay, for All Quiet On The Western Front.

James Friend collected the award for best cinematography, also for All Quiet On The Western Front, and in the process denied fellow countryman Sir Roger Deakins a chance of winning a record-breaking sixth Bafta for his work on Empire Of Light.

Veteran British make-up artist Mark Coulier was part of the team who won best make-up and hair, for the film Elvis.

Meanwhile, Martin McDonagh, who has joint British-Irish nationality, picked up best original screenplay for The Banshees Of Inisherin, but missed out on winning best director for the same film.

In the four British-only categories, The Banshees Of Inisherin won best British film; An Irish Goodbye took the prize for best British short film; The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse was named best British short animation; and Charlotte Wells picked up the award for outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer, for her film Aftersun.

Overall there were UK wins in nine Bafta categories, the lowest number since 2017 (also nine) and one down on the 10 wins in 2022.

The total is some way below the 13 wins in 2019 and 14 in 2018, 2020 and 2021.

The most UK wins so far this century was 15 in 2009, when Slumdog Millionaire picked up six separate awards.

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