Gravity Wins BAFTA Best British Film; Loses Best Film Bid
Gravity took home six BAFTA awards over the holiday weekend. With a total of 11 nominations, the winning categories were for Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron; a Best Cinematography award for Emmanuel Lubezki; Best Special Effects and Sound awards; and Best Original Score for Steven Price. The film itself won for Best British Film, which raised eyebrows among the industry.
Within minutes of Gravity’s Best British Film Twitter was a flutter. While Variety agreed with BAFTA that Gravity deserved to win in this category stating in its Twitter feed “Gravity qualifies as a British film for ‘significant British creative involvement.” However, Guy Lodge a writer for Variety and The Observer disagreed tweeting “I hear the reasons for Gravity qualifying as a British film. I understand them. But still… no.”
Gravity received American financing and although it was filmed in England, the fact that is was directed by a Mexican director and stars two American actors, have been the reason many disagree it be designated a British film.
Meanwhile Cuaron defended Gravity’s right to the BAFTA Award stating, “Except for a couple of Mexicans that came here – legally! – and a couple of American stars, this is a film that was completely shot in this country, developed in this country, and made using cutting edge technology developed by British artists.”
The requirements for a film being deemed as British require the film have “significant British creative involvement” and that is be certified as British by the BFI, which uses a “cultural test” to determine a film’s classification as British or not.
The other competing for Best British film included: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Philomena, Rush, Saving Mr. Banks, and The Selfish Giant
Gravity was also up for the BAFTA Best Film category, losing out to 12 Years a Slave.