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Charles, the Prince of Wales, and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, will host a reception for British Oscar winners “to celebrate the work and accomplishments of British filmmaking,” they have announced on their website.
This unprecedented gathering will take place on May 4 at St. James’s Palace State Apartments in London. Michael Caine, Judi Dench, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson and many other winners in categories beyond the four reserved for acting — with wins spanning more than 45 years — are among those expected to attend, along with Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson.
More than 300 Brits have taken home Oscars over the years, beginning with George Arliss, who won the best actor Oscar for 1930’s Disraeli. In 1948, Hamlet, which was adapted for the screen, directed by and starred Laurence Olivier, became the first non-American film to win the best picture Oscar, causing considerable shock and controversy in Hollywood.
In the years since, the Academy has become much more welcoming of non-Americans, both at the Oscars and within its own membership. At the most recent Oscars, on Feb. 28, 44 Brits were nominated across all categories, and then 10 of them took home statuettes: Mark Rylance for best supporting actor (Bridge of Spies); Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes for best original song (“The Writing’s on the Wall” from Spectre); Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees for best documentary feature (Amy); Jenny Beavan for best costume design (Mad Max: Fury Road); and Mark Williams Ardington, Sara Bennett, Paul Norris and Andrew Whitehurt for best visual effects (Ex Machina).
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