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Bafta 2020: War drama ‘1917’ wins big, Joaquin Phoenix bags ‘Best Actor’ award

LONDON: Sweeping World War I odyssey “1917” won big at Sunday’s Bafta awards, landing the best film prize and best director trophy for Sam Mendes, and putting it in line for potential Oscars glory next weekend.

The movie, which follows two British soldiers on a perilous mission across no man’s land, had already scooped the Golden Globe for best drama, and has 10 Academy Award nominations including for best picture.

Hailed as a groundbreaking piece of cinema, it scooped seven of the nine prizes it was nominated for at Britain’s top film awards, including in cinematography, production design, sound and special visual effects.

“It’s moving for me to get this in my hometown for the first time,” said Mendes, the first British winner of the best director Bafta since Danny Boyle prevailed in 2009 for “Slumdog Millionaire”.

“Thank you to all the people who have gone to see this in the cinemas,” he told the star-studded ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall in London.