'Hurt Locker' tops BAFTA Awards

Nods include best movie, director, original screenplay

LONDON -- It was Kathryn Bigelow's night at the Orange British Academy Film Awards on Sunday, with the favorite "The Hurt Locker" sweeping the board with a haul of awards, including best film, best director, best original screenplay, best cinematography, best sound and best editing.

"My heart's beating so fast I can barely talk," she said as she took the podium to accept the best director award. "I think the secret to directing is collaboration, and I was so lucky to have an incredible cast and crew. This is deeply moving -- we all felt an incredible responsibility to honor the courage of the men and women in the field."

"Avatar," which had been nominated in eight categories, won in the special visual effects and production design categories.

"A Single Man" star Colin Firth was named best actor, while British newcomer Carey Mulligan was awarded the best actress award for her role in coming-of-age drama "An Education."

It was a case of umbrellas on the red carpet as stars filed into the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden in sheeting rain. Britain's top night in film attracted stars including Dustin Hoffman, Kate Winslet and Robert Pattinson to the ceremony and to the post-awards dinner at the Grosvenor House on London's Park Lane, with afterparties hosted by BAFTA, Optimum/Lionsgate, Icon Distribution and Weinstein/Universal.

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Christoph Waltz took home the best supporting actor award for his role in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds," using his time in the podium to pay tribute to the director.

"I was the best supported actor," he said of his director and cast members including Brad Pitt. "No Quentin, no 'Inglourious Basterds,' no Col. Landau, no Christoph at the BAFTAs or anywhere else," he told the packed house at the Royal Opera House.

The best supporting actress award for Mo'Nique was collected by "Precious" director Lee Daniels.

"This award is a very big deal," he said. "We didn't know how this film was going to be received overseas."

Andrea Arnold's gritty coming-of-age romance "Fish Tank" beat "An Education," "Nowhere Boy," "In the Loop" and "Moon" to win the outstanding British film award.

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"Twilight" star Kristen Stewart was named Orange Rising Star, while Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner were handed the best adapted screenplay gong for "Up in the Air."

"A Prophet" earned the best film not in the English language as well as the biggest applause of the night, while the outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer went to Duncan Jones, director of sci-fi "Moon," and the best music award went to Michael Giacchino for animated spectacular "Up," which was also named best animated film.

Before the awards unwrapped, BAFTA chairman David Parfitt announced that BAFTA president Dickie Attenborough -- currently recovering from an injury -- will be replaced by Prince William, the British heir apparent who took over as head of the illustrious body with immediate effect, handing actress Vanessa Redgrave a BAFTA fellowship in recognition of a career in film.

"The visual arts is such a great part of the fabric of this nation -- from the days of Shakespeare to our own," said the Prince. "I will do my level best to live up to my illustrious predecessors."

Other BAFTA winners:

Short film
"I Do Air"

Short animation
"Mother of Many"

Outstanding British contribution to cinema
Joe Dunton

Costume design
"The Young Victoria"

Makeup and hair
"The Young Victoria"