Entertainment & Arts

Stars arrive at Bafta red carpet film awards in London

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen on the Bafta red carpet: "It is not a competition, it's a celebration"

The stars have begun arriving at the Bafta film awards at the Royal Opera House in London.

Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz and The Fall actress Gillian Anderson were among the first to arrive on the red carpet.

Steve McQueen, director of 12 Years a Slave - tipped to be the night's big winner, said he was "grateful to the public for the film's success".

Space thriller Gravity leads the way with 11 Bafta nominations.

British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, nominated for best actor for his role as Solomon Northup in 12 Years, called the film "an extraordinary experience".

His co-star Lupita Nyong'o, nominated for best supporting actress for her role as the slave Patsey, said she was "blessed".

She told the BBC the film "touched me and it moved my core".

"It's been exciting, it's been amazing and surprising."

The Baftas, the last major movie awards before the Oscars on 2 March. will be broadcast on BBC One at 21:00 GMT.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionLeonardo DiCaprio's interview with the BBC was interrupted by chants from the crowd

The awards are being hosted for a ninth time by actor Stephen Fry.

US director Ron Howard, whose film Rush - about the rivalry between F1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda - is nominated for outstanding British film, joked he felt like "a grateful foreign exchange student".

Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave, about a free black man who is kidnapped and enslaved, has 10 nominations - including best film, best director and best actor for Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Bookies think the harrowing historical drama will scoop five of the major categories.

"The odds suggest that 12 Years A Slave will sweep the boards on Sunday night," said William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Blanchett has been nominated for best actress for Blue Jasmine

American Hustle also has 10 nominations, and its stars Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence appear in all the acting categories.

The 1970s drama, about two con artists who get entangled with the FBI, is also up for best film, with David O Russell nominated for best director and original screenplay.

Other movies competing for best film include Somali piracy thriller Captain Phillips, and Philomena, based on the true story of an Irish woman trying to find the son she was forced to give up for adoption.

Captain Phillips has nine nominations while Behind the Candelabra, with Michael Douglas as Liberace, and Disney story Saving Mr Banks have five nominations each.

Philomena's Dame Judi Dench competes in the best actress category against American Hustle's Adams, Gravity's Sandra Bullock, Emma Thompson for Saving Mr Banks and the runaway favourite Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine.

Dame Judi set a Bafta record with her 15th acting nomination but when asked about it on the red carpet, she replied "I didn't know until you told me. Thanks for reminding me".

She added: "It means I've been gong for a very, very long time."

In the best actor field, Ejiofor is the bookies' favourite against Bale, Tom Hanks for Captain Phillips, Bruce Dern for Nebraska and Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street.

Speaking to the BBC on the red carpet, DiCaprio called his film "like a modern day Roman empire". Battling against chants of "Leo, Leo, Leo", he added, "This film has struck a chord and I'm very proud of it".

The outstanding British film category sees blockbuster Gravity up against the tiny-budgeted drama The Selfish Giant, Clio Barnard's contemporary English fable about two Bradford schoolboys who collect scrap metal on a horse and cart.

'Bradford to Baftas'

Image copyright PA
Image caption Newcomer Lupita Nyong'o said she was "blessed"

Speaking to the BBC recently, Barnard joked about turning up at the Baftas "in spacesuits on horseback".

The film's producer Tracy O'Riordan added: "It is like David versus Goliath. We are a tiny film - it was made for $2m, while Gravity was $100m - so it's strange but wonderful to be in the same category. We're bringing a bit of Bradford to the Baftas."

Also nominated in the outstanding British film category are Philomena, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Saving Mr Banks and Rush.

Gravity, Saving Mr Banks and Rush all qualified for the British film category because they were either filmed in the UK, utilised British effects companies or employed other British talent.

The Baftas can be an indicator of which films go on to win Academy Awards two weeks later.

Last year Argo won best film, Daniel Day-Lewis won best actor, and Waltz and Anne Hathaway took the best supporting acting prizes. They all went on to win Oscars.

Other nominees at the Baftas on Sunday night include Matt Damon, Michael Fassbender, Paul Greengrass, Sally Hawkins, Martin Scorsese and Oprah Winfrey.

Highest accolade

Presenters and guests include Benedict Cumberbatch, Eddie Redmayne, Jeremy Irons, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Stanley Tucci and Uma Thurman.

The ceremony will open with a duet from Tinie Tempah and Mercury Prize nominee Laura Mvula.

Prince William, the academy's president, will present Dame Helen Mirren with the British Academy fellowship, its highest accolade.

Previous winners have included Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick.

Peter Greenaway will receive the outstanding British contribution to cinema award.

The winner of the public vote for this year's Rising Star award will also be announced.

12 Years a Slave's Bafta-nominated actress Lupita Nyong'o is up against Kill Your Darlings actor Dane DeHaan, Sunshine on Leith's George MacKay, Blue is the Warmest Colour star Lea Seydoux, and Will Poulter from We're the Millers.

A special red carpet show will be broadcast by BBC Three at 20:30. The ceremony will be broadcast on BBC One at 21:00 GMT.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites