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The Boy And The Heron Bags A BAFTA

The movie awards season is approaching its climax. Following the Annie Awards and ahead of the Oscars, it was the British film industry's turn. The BAFTA Film Awards took place in London and celebrated the best in British and international film.

There was a British-made contender in the running for Best Animated Film this year, with Aardman's Chicken Run Dawn Of The Nugget. Surprisingly BAFTA has never given the prize to an Aardman film, despite nominating them five times. Before the establishment of the Best Animated Feature category, both Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit: Curse Of The Were-Rabbit were nominated for Best British Film.  BAFTA has also never nominated the studio for Best British Animated Short.

Also nominated was Peter Sohn's Elemental. Pixar has won in the category eight times before, as well as scoring another eight nominations. By contrast, Disney has only won twice.

Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse was also nominated and was largely considered the favourite. Not least because BAFTA gave the award to Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse in 2018. BAFTA also has form awarding producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller, having previously given the award to The LEGO Movie. Ultimately though Spidey wasn't able to top a highly successful night at the Annies on Saturday night with another win.

That leaves only Hayao Miyazaki's The Boy And The Heron, which was the surprise victor. This marks the first BAFTA for both Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. It is the first ever anime film to be awarded by the British Academy and is in fact the first time the category has ever gone to a non-American film. Miyazaki was not in attendance but can add the BAFTA to the film's growing pile of awards, which already includes a Golden Globe.

The Best British Animated Short went to Crab Day from filmmakers Ross Stringer, Bartosz Stanislawek, and Aleksandra Sykulak. The film beat out competition from Visible Mending from filmmakers Samantha Moore, and Tilley Bancroft, and Wild Summon from Karni Arieli, Saul Freed, and Jay Woolley.

The Special Visual Effects award went to the live-action film Poor Things. It overcame competition from more obviously visually spectacular offerings in Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 3, The Creator, Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One and Napoleon.