Scottish screenwriter Krysty Wilson-Cairns accepted the first of a slew of seven awards for the First World War epic 1917 at last night's EE British Academy Film Awards.

The 32-year-old Glaswegian, who penned the film with director Sir Sam Mendes, collected the Outstanding British Film prize at the glittering ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

She said: "Thank you so much for this honour, I can't tell you how much it means to us all. As co-writer of this film I was involved from a very early stage and I got to witness how quintessentially British it was."

She went on to pay tribute to the more than, 1200-strong British crew, as well as its British actors and "some very gung-ho supporting artists, some almost too gung-ho".

On the red carpet Wilson-Cairns said that she was shocked at the critical reception to the film, which received nine Bafta nominations.

READ MORE: 1917: Krysty Wilson-Cairns – 'A young woman writing a war movie? I thought I’d never get the chance'

She said: "It's so lovely, it's slightly bewildering, it's all a bit mad, it's my first rodeo, I'm loving it and I'm terrified."

On the need for change within the industry, she said: "I think there's still a long way to go, not just for women, but for people of colour, differently abled people, just across the board I think what we really need to push for in the next decade is different people being able to tell their own stories."

The $90 million blockbuster tells the tale of two young soldiers on the Western Front tasked with delivering a message that will prevent a massacre, inspired by Mendes’ soldier grandfather, Alfred Mendes.

The film won gongs for best director, best film, special visual effects, sound, production design and there was recognition for the film's cinematographer Roger Deakins.

Laura Dern won Best Supporting Actress for Marriage Story while Brad Pitt scooped Best Supporting Actor for Once Upon a Time ... In Hollywood.

The star of controversial gang film Blue Story that was banned from cinemas across the UK, Micheal Ward, picked up the EE Rising Star award.

The adapted screenplay Bafta went to anti-hate satire Jojo Rabbit.

The film's writer and director, Taika Waititi, who is from New Zealand, said: "This is very cool for me, coming from the colonies..."

The leading actress Bafta was presented to Renee Zellweger for Judy. Accepting her award, she said: "Miss Garland, London town, which you have always loved so much, still loves you back. This is for you."

Joaquin Phoenix won the leading actor Bafta for Joker over fellow nominees Leonardo DiCaprio, Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce and Taron Egerton.

Phoenix took aim at "systemic racism" and "oppression" within the industry in his acceptance speech.

Phoenix said: "I feel very honoured and privileged to be here tonight. But I have to say that I also feel conflicted because so many of my fellow actors that are deserving don't have that same privilege.

"I think that we send a very clear message to people of colour that you're not welcome here, I think that's the message that we're sending to people that have contributed so much to our medium and our industry and in ways that we benefit from."

The Baftas have been criticised for their lack of diversity after films with almost-exclusively white casts topped the nominations.

READ MORE: Golden Globes: Brian Cox and Krysty Wilson-Cairns celebrate

Once Upon a Time ... In Hollywood, Joker, The Irishman and 1917 received multiple nods in the awards while Australian Margot Robbie was nominated twice in the Supporting Actress category for Bombshell and Once Upon a Time ... In Hollywood.

The #BaftasSoWhite hashtag trended on Twitter with people noting the lack of people of colour up for acting awards.

Bafta chairwoman Dame Pippa Harris, who is also the producer of nominated film 1917, discussed the lack of diversity at this year's awards.

She said: "We've announced a wide-ranging review, we're going to be looking at everything across the board in terms of the awards process.

"But also I think it's fair to say this is an industry-wide issue. It takes everyone to look at what they're doing."

She said she is confident that it can change in the future, adding: "It's not as though there are never people of colour winning awards or being nominated, but this year has been very disappointing."