Date: 16th February 2004

Rings' return sweeps five Bafta awards

Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King (2003) has won Best Film at this year's Baftas on another night of disappointment for Cold Mountain (2003).

Cold Mountain had led the field with 13 nominations but picked up only two - best supporting actress for Renée Zellweger and an award for best score.

Instead it was Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King (2003) and Master and Commander (2003), which were the big winners, with four Bafta awards each, and Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King (2003) also won the Orange Film of the Year, which is voted by the general public.

Peter Weir won Best Director for Master and Commander, a swashbuckling epic set on the high seas during the Napoleonic wars. Paul Bettany who picked up the award for Weir, who couldn't be at the event, said the director was a "genius" and it was a "real honour to get to work for him".

Bill Murray won Best Actor and Scarlett Johansson won Best Actress, both for Lost in Translation (2003).

Nineteen-year-old newcomer Johannson had also been nominated for Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003), a rare double in Bafta history.

Bill Nighy won Best Supporting Actor for his role in British hit Love Actually (2003).

Cold Mountain (2003) had been expected to do well but, as with the Golden Globes, Bafta voters were unimpressed by the American Civil War drama.

Touching the Void, a documentary about a true life mountaineering drama, won outstanding British Film of the Year.

Best non-English film was In This World, a film by 24 Hour Party People director Michael Winterbottom. The film tells the story of two young Afghan refugees and their perilous journey to Britain as asylum seekers.

Source: Press Release