“Gravity” dominated the Bafta film awards scooping six prizes, while “12 Years a Slave” won the coveted best film honour in a ceremony in as also named best British film and picked up other awards for visual effects, cinematography, best sound and original music, while Alfonso Cuaron won best director at the ceremonty in Royal Opera House, London.
British star Chiwetel Ejiofor collected the best actor Bafta for his role as Solomon Northup in “12 Years a Slave”, While Cate Blanchett picked up best actress for “Blue Jasmine”.
In the supporting acting categories, “Captain Phillips” star Barkhad Abdi won as did Jennifer Lawrence for “American Hustle”. Its director David O Russell accepted the award on Lawrence's behalf as she remained absent, and was back on stage minutes later to pick up the award for best original screenplay for the 1970s crime drama.
Ejiofor, who seven years ago was nominated for the Bafta rising star award, accepted his award from US actress Uma Thurman. He said he was “so deeply honoured and privileged to receive it”, thanking director Steve McQueen for his “artistry and passion.”
“The Great Gatsby” picked up two awards for production design and costume design. “Room 8” was named best short film; the short animation award was won by “Sleeping With the Fishes”.
The awards were hosted for a ninth time by actor Stephen Fry.
Best animation went to “Frozen”, which came out ahead of “Monsters University” and “Despicable Me 2”.
US director Ron Howard, whose film “Rush” - about the rivalry between F1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda - won the award for best editing, joked on the red carpet he felt like “a grateful foreign exchange student.”
Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope won for their adapted screenplay for the film “Philomena”, based on the true story of an Irish woman trying to find the son she was forced to give up for adoption.
Cate Blanchett paid tribute on stage to the late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died earlier this month in New York, calling him “a continual profound touchstone.”
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 Christoph Waltz and Anne Hathaway took the best supporting acting prizes. They all went on to win Oscars.
Prince William, the academy's president, presented Dame Helen Mirren with the British Academy fellowship, its highest accolade. Previous winners have included Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick.
The winner of the public vote for this year's Rising Star award was also announced with 21-year-old British actor Will Poulter from “We're the Millers” accepting the award.