• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Travesty: British films are missing out to Hollywood at Baftas, says writer

British films are being overlooked at the Baftas, sitcom creator and film writer Andrew Collins has said.

The British Academy Film Awards take place on Sunday, with Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave up for 10 gongs.

Other contenders for best film include Philomena, Captain Phillips, American Hustle and Gravity.

Collins, who co-wrote TV comedy Not Going Out with Lee Mack and created Radio 4 sitcom Mr Blue Sky, said that it was a "travesty... that the bulk of the winners will inevitably be foreign. By which I mean American."

Writing in the Radio Times, he "bemoaned" British films, such as Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa and The World's End, "missing" from the shortlist.

The broadcaster said that another ceremony, the British Independent Film Awards, "mopped up the films cruelly ignored by Bafta".

He said: "Aside from two protectionist categories that ringfence homegrown talent - outstanding British film and outstanding British debut - our best must battle it out against the vast budgets and promotional might of the Hollywood dream factory.

"The studios may hammer out multimillion-dollar comic-book franchise blockbusters for 11 months of the year, but, just in time for prizegiving season, they aggressively market 'awards bait' pictures with no less industrial precision."

He said: "Danny Boyle had a British film out last year, the art heist thriller Trance, starring James McAvoy, which seems to have escaped the Academy's notice.

"So did Roger Michell and writer Hanif Kureishi for their charming late-middle-aged romance Le Week-end, with Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan as a couple rekindling their relationship in Paris."

Collins, who is also the Radio Times film editor, added: "The biggest omission this year is (Ben) Wheatley's A Field In England, the eerie, avant-garde, £300,000-budget English Civil War psychodrama that made British film history in July when it was released in cinemas, on DVD, on demand and on the Film4 TV channel on the same day.

"US critics enthused about the movie, and Variety called it a 'defiantly unclassifiable cross-genre experiment'. That, to me, is the kind of film Bafta should be all about: inventive, personal, difficult, sonically arresting, English to its very core and a credit to the nation."

Contextual targeting label: 
Arts and Entertainment

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

212017