The Artist dominates Critics’ Choice Awards

The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards kicked of the Hollywood awards season last night, with silent film The Artist picking up a number of the big prizes.

A film that has made a considerable impact since it premièred at Cannes last year, it walked away with the evening’s top award for best picture as well as best score, best costume design and best director for Michel Hazanavicius.

Accepting the honour, Hazanavicius joked in his speech, “I made a silent movie. I don’t like to speak so much.”

The other film to receive notable recognition was Tate Taylor’s adaptation of the 60s’ civil rights movement novel, The Help. It received a number of the key acting accolades with Viola Davis winning best actress, Octavia Spencer winning best supporting actress and the cast being honoured with best acting ensemble.

The other big winners were George Clooney, who received the best actor award for his performance in The Descendants, Christopher Plummer, who won best supporting actor for Beginners and Thomas Horn, who was recognised as best young actor/actress for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

Despite being nominated for 11 awards, Martin Scorsese’s Hugo only received a single honour, for art direction.

However, Scorsese was also presented with the music and film award given to those who have, “heightened the impact of film through the brilliant use of source and soundtrack.”

Sean Penn was presented with the Joel Siegel award, which honours those who understand that the greatest value of a celebrity is as an enhanced platform to do good works for others. In the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake on January 12th2010, Penn founded the J/P Haitian Relief Organisation which raised money and awareness following the disaster.

Other winners included Drive for best action, Bridesmaids for best comedy, Rango for best animated feature, Moneyball for best adapted screenplay, The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo for best editing and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 for best sound and makeup.

The CCMA’s have come to be a fairly reliable indicator for Oscar winners, providing an impressive correlation between award winners in previous years. With The Artist and The Help dominating the field, they stand in considerable contention for the top spot next month.

Taken from The Student, published online Fri Jan 13th 2012.

Newsround honoured at BAFTA Children’s Awards

Featuring the very best in children’s film, television, games and online media, the 2011 British Academy Children’s Awards saw a host of top presenters lead an evening of celebrations at the London Hilton, Park Lane last night.

The Awards saw a number of double-wins, most notably the final instalment of the Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, which received both the reputable Best Feature Film Award and the BAFTA Kids’ vote in the ‘Film’ category. This comes as a fitting finale to the series, which has seen enormous success across its films and has already received the Outstanding Contribution to Cinema Award at the Orange British Academy Film Awards earlier this year. With the DVD boxset being released on December 2nd, marking the end of an era, it only seems apt that Harry Potter is given its due recognition as a film that is fundamentally geared towards children.

Other double-winners included Peppa Pig, which won the award for Best Pre-School Animation; an accolade it previously picked up in 2005. Nine-year old Harley Bird, who voices the character Peppa, received the award for Best Performer. Cartoon Network’s, The Amazing World of Gumball, which cleverly combines various animation techniques, won Best Animation and Best Writer, whilst children’s wildlife programme Deadly 60 won Best Factual Programme and Best Presenter, for adventurer Steve Backshall.

A special award was presented to Newsround, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Recognised as the world’s first regular news bulletin for children, it seeks to introduce the young to current affairs, covering world news, sport, science and the environment. The gong was received by John Craven, who presented the show when it first started in 1972 until he left in 1989 to join Countryfile.

As Craven, 71, commented last night, “Newsround was the first show of its kind in the world and I’m deeply thankful to Bafta for recognising it as such.”

“Newsround was, and always will be, my little baby and I couldn’t be more proud of it now it’s all grown up.”

Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive of BAFTA, said: “Getting young people interested in and engaged with film, television, video games and online media is a very important part of BAFTA’s charitable activity, which takes place all year round.”

“The Awards ceremony celebrated the very finest talent behind the nation’s favourite children’s television shows, films, games and websites, and the nominees and winners are incredible inspirations to the next generation of creative talent in Britain. We encourage kids everywhere to follow in their footsteps.”

The list of winners is as follows:

Special Award: Newsround

Animation: The Amazing World Of Gumball

Channel of the Year: CBeebies

Comedy: Horrible Histories

Drama: Just William

Entertainment: Trapped

Factual: Deadly 60

Feature Film: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II

Independent Production Company: Kindle Entertainment

Interactive: Tate Movie Project

International: Fish Hooks

Learning – Primary: Quiff and Boot

Learning – Secondary: Privates

Performer: Harley Bird – Peppa Pig

Pre-School Animation: Peppa Pig

Pre-School Live Action: Bookaboo

Presenter: Steve Backshall – Deadly 60

Short Form: Dipdap

Video Game: LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean

Writer: James Lamont, Jon Foster – The Amazing World of Gumball

Bafta Young Game Designers: Rollin’ Scotch

Feature Film: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II

Television: Good Luck Charlie

Video Games: Just Dance 2

Websites: Bin Weevils

Taken from The Student, published online Mon Nov 28th 2011.