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14th Mar 2022

Belfast wins Outstanding British Film at the BAFTAs

The coming of age drama is set in Belfast during the Troubles.

Last night saw the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTAs) take place at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and Kenneth Branagh’s film Belfast took home the gong for Outstanding British Film.

Accepting the BAFTA, Branagh spoke about how the film wasn’t an “easy pitch” given the subject matter, but it all came together thanks to the talents of cast and crew.

The director said: “Thank you to British cinema audiences for watching in tonnage a UK and Irish cinema film at UK and Ireland cinemas.

“All hail the streaming revolution, but all hail the big screen too. It’s alive, and long may they live together.”

He continued: “This is a black and white film about the Troubles. It was not an easy pitch, but when the great talent in this room dreams up anything similarly unlikely to make or to finance, please remember if you build it, they will come.

“Build it with passion and truth and believe in the originality and uniqueness of your story and your voice and believe in the imagination of the public to embrace every and any kind of story well told.

“We are so proud to be included in this year’s films; they are all outstanding. Thank you very much for being so kind to ours, we deeply appreciate it.”

A number of Irish stars –  Caitríona Balfe, Jessie Buckley, Ruth Negga and Ciarán Hinds – were nominated for BAFTAs in the acting categories, but they missed out.

Balfe, Buckley and Negga appeared alongside each other in the Best Supporting Actress Category for their roles in Belfast, The Lost Daughter and Passing, respectively. However, the BAFTA went to Ariana DeBose for her performance in West Side Story.

Hinds was nominated for Best Actor for his role in Belfast. However, that award went to CODA’s Troy Kotsur.