Oscars: British Industry Touts '12 Years a Slave,' 'Gravity' Wins

4:22 AM PST 03/03/2014 by Stuart Kemp
AP Images

British Film Institute CEO Amanda Nevill says the U.K. "continues to punch above its weight" with its showing at the 86th Academy Awards.

LONDON – British film industry representatives on Monday trumpeted the Oscars success of 12 Years A Slave and Gravity.

British Film Institute CEO Amanda Nevill said the U.K. has "much to celebrate at this year's Oscars" after watching British filmmaker Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave, which Film4, the movie unit of broadcaster Channel 4, developed and supported through its journey to the screen, pick up three Oscars, including the award for best picture.

Alongside the film's best picture win, it also earned the best supporting actress honor for Lupita Nyong’o and best adapted screenplay award for John Ridley.

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Channel 4 controller of film and drama Tessa Ross, who played a big part in steering McQueen's slavery drama to the screen, said: "We’re absolutely over the moon for Steve, Lupita and John, and the whole team on this extraordinary film. From internationally acclaimed artist to Academy Award-winning filmmaker in just a few years, Steve's is an astonishing journey, and one that Channel 4 is immensely privileged to have been a part of. He's an inspiration to so many. It’s Steve's moment, but the whole of the British film industry should also feel incredibly proud tonight."

Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity, a movie for which the filmmaker honored with the best director Oscar spent four-plus years developing the technology and methods to shoot in the British capital with U.K. technicians and talent, also left the Academy Awards with seven honors, which the industry here lauded.

"Our industry continues to punch above its weight with exceptional creative talent and world-leading practitioners, infrastructure and facilities that prove a draw to filmmakers from around the world, creating jobs and driving inward investment to the U.K. economy," Nevill said. "The success of our filmmaking talent working both in front of and behind the camera is an international validation of how creatively and technically British filmmaking is at the top of its game, and I am so pleased for all the talented people involved in making these wonderful films, which have captivated audiences around the world."

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Gravity picked up Oscars for visual effects, sound editing, sound mixing, cinematography, editing and original score before Cuaron himself jointly accepted the award for editing.

Mexico-born Cuaron, who lives in the British capital and regards himself as a Londoner after residing here for years, also got to make a funny acceptance speech later after winning the evening's best director award.

Prime Minister David Cameron got in on the act tweeting his congratulations to McQueen.

"Congratulations to British director, Steve McQueen, after his film 12 Years a Slave won the award for best picture at the Oscars."

Cameron also offered his congratulations for the U.K. contribution to the production of Gravity, tweeting: "Gravity's Oscars triumph is a tribute to the brilliance of British special effects wizards @Framestore and @Prime-Focus."

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