Stars to wear black at United Kingdom film awards: Will Kate join them?

Kelvin Reese
February 19, 2018

"The Handmaiden" by South Korean director Park Chan-wook has picked up the trophy for the best non-English film at the 71st British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA).

Time's Up campaigners storm the red carpet wearing tops reading "Times Up Theresa" at the EE British Academy Film Awards held at the Royal Albert Hall.

Three Billboards star Frances McDormand, victor of the leading actress award, acknowledged the theme of the night with a speech dominated by her appreciation of the Time's Up and #MeToo campaigns.

Alongside McDonagh, Three Billboards was produced by the British duo of Graham Broadbent and Peter Czernin for their Blueprint Pictures (headquartered on London's Great Portland Street), with half the funding coming from Film4, the movie arm of United Kingdom network Channel 4.

"It seems more timely now than we could ever have imagined", he said.

Three Billboards - which was written and directed by Briton Martin McDonagh, took the best British film award early in the evening.

"Our film is a hopeful one in lots of ways but it's also an angry one, and as we've seen this year, sometimes anger is the only way to get people to listen and to change, so we're thrilled that BAFTA has recognised this", he said.

U.S. actors Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney scooped best supporting actor and actress for their roles in Three Billboards and I, Tonya, respectively. Meanwhile, "Get Out" breakout star Daniel Kaluuya received the Rising Star Award.

Announced as the Best Supporting Actress that night was Allison Janney for her role in "I, Tonya".

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Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson, Naomie Harris, Emma Watson and Gemma Arterton were among those who signed a letter saying that 2018 should be "the year that time was up on sexual harassment and abuse".

Backed by more than 190 entertainers, academics and activists, the letter aligns British film stars with the fight against sexual harassment set off by the allegations against USA movie producer Harvey Weinstein.

The issue has crossed the Atlantic, where the Old Vic Theatre has been rocked by allegations against former artistic director Kevin Spacey, and London police are investigating nine claims of sexual assault by Weinstein.

Darkest Hour star and best supporting actress nominee Kristin Scott Thomas was among the first to arrive, while actress Andrea Riseborough was joined on the red carpet by Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, co-founder of UK Black Pride.

Several actresses brought feminist activists as guests, and men showed solidarity with "Time's Up" lapel pins. The red carpet this year at the Royal Albert Hall ceremony will be a sea of black as the movement against sexual misconduct takes centre stage at the BAFTAs.

"Catherine and I are extremely pleased to be here amongst you all this evening", William said at tonight's event.

Host Joanna Lumley opened up this year's ceremony by acknowledging the "determination to eradicate the abuse of women the world over" of the many stars who wore black in solidarity with the Time's Up and #MeToo campaigns.

"It's more likely we'll see an alien onscreen than we'll see an Asian woman at the moment, which is disgraceful", she said. This is the second year they've walked the red carpet, but their attendance makes ideal sense since William is president of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts!

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