31 January, 2008

"Atonement" dominates Attenborough film awards


"Period drama and Golden Globe winner "Atonement" scooped four of six Richard Attenborough Film Awards on Thursday.

Atonement was voted film of the year by British regional arts and entertainment journalists in all media, including critics, editors and freelancers.

The World War Two epic about two lovers torn apart by family betrayal has also picked up seven Oscar nominations and promises to dominate this year's British Academy Films Awards (BAFTA) with 14 nominations.

Its director Joe Wright was voted film maker of the year, while James McAvoy, named BAFTA's rising star in 2006, was named as actor of the year for his lead role in the movie.

Screenwriter Christopher Hampton, winner of the 1988 Oscar for scripting "Dangerous Liaisons", took the screenwriter of the year award.

"This film was shot entirely in England with a completely British cast and crew, so it is especially thrilling that our film has been honoured by the Richard Attenborough Film award," said Paul Webster, the film's producer.

Actress Cate Blanchett, beating competition from Oscar nominees Marion Cotillard and Julie Christie and Atonement's Keira Knightley, took the actress of the year award for her performance in the title role of "Elizabeth: The Golden Age".

Sam Riley was named rising star of the year for his leading role in "Control", portraying the life of Ian Curtis, frontman of English rock band Joy Division, who committed suicide at the age of 23 in 1980. "

(Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Steve Addison)

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