Date: 26th February 2001

Bafta Awards: A Mixed Bag

In its first ceremony staged in advance of the Oscars, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) named Gladiator best film of 2000 but awarded the best director prize to Ang Lee for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; the best actor award to Jamie Bell, the teenaged star of Billy Elliot; and the best actress award to Julia Roberts for her performance in the title role of Erin Brockovich.

Hometown sentiment was clearly evident as Bell received a thunderous ovation when he accepted his trophy and proceeded to charm the crowd. "I was kind of thinking about not bothering coming," Bell said. "I thought, what's the point?"

His competition included Russell Crowe (Gladiator), Tom Hanks (Cast Away), Geoffrey Rush (Quills), and Michael Douglas (Wonder Boys).

Other top BAFTA awards: Best supporting actress: Julie Walters (Billy Elliot); Best supporting actor: Benicio Del Toro (Traffic); Best foreign-language film: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Best British film: Billy Elliot; Best original screenplay: Cameron Crow (Almost Famous); Best adapted screenplay: Stephen Gaghan (Traffic).

Source: Studio Briefing