Ma Rainey’s Black Backside wins two prizes at opening evening of BAFTA Awards

The opening night of the 74th British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards saw Viola Davis-starrer Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom taking home two awards in the technical categories.

The annual award ceremony, delayed from its usual February date due to the coronavirus pandemic, has been split into a two-day event.

The BAFTA’s opening night, which was hosted by British radio personality Clara Amfo, was held virtually on Saturday and winners for eight categories were announced.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which also featured the late Hollywood star Chadwick Boseman, took home the trophies for best costume design and best make-up and hair.

David Fincher’s Mank, starring Gary Oldman, won the award for best production design, while filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s spy thriller Tenet bagged the best visual effects trophy.

Riz Ahmed-starrer Sound of Metal won the award for best sound, while the best casting trophy went to Lucy Pardee for British coming-of-age drama Rocks, Farah Nabulsi’s The Present won best British short film, and animated short The Owl And The Pussycat was named best British short animation.

The ceremony also saw actor, director and writer Noel Clarke, best known for the Kidulthood film trilogy, honoured with the outstanding British contribution to cinema award.

Actor Leslie Odom Jr, who has been nominated for best supporting actor at the BAFTAs for his performance in One Night in Miami, performed the track Speak Now during the ceremony.

Amfo opened the event by reading a tribute to Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who died on Friday at the age of 99. The host noted that Prince Philip had served as the first president of the BAFTA, holding the post from 1959 until 1965.

“It was Prince Philip and Her Majesty the Queen’s support throughout these years that in many ways allowed BAFTA, a leading charity in the arts, to continue in difficult times and to be here today in 2021,” Amfo said. The winners for major categories of BAFTA will be announced on Sunday. Among the presenters scheduled to appear are Priyanka Chopra Jonas, James McAvoy, David Oyelowo and Hugh Grant. —PTI 

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