There was a bit of a British invasion at the Beverly Hilton hotel, as BAFTA Los Angeles hosted its annual Britannia Awards, honoring film and television talent from both sides of the pond.
The Britannia Award is the highest accolade presented by BAFTA Los Angeles, and is a celebration of achievement honoring individuals and companies from the US, UK and beyond who have dedicated their careers or corporate missions to advancing the art-forms of the moving image.
The Awards are presented annually at The Britannia Awards gala dinner, where peers and colleagues celebrate the work and accomplishments of the distinguished honorees and gather to celebrate the fruitful relationship between the UK and US industries.
The first Britannia Award was presented in 1989 to Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli, pioneer producer of the James Bond films. Since the gala’s inception, the Britannia Awards ceremony has expanded to include multiple presentations celebrating living legends, rising British stars and internationally acclaimed colleagues.
Honorees over the years have included Sir Michael Caine, Martin Scorsese, Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Anthony Hopkins, Colin Firth, Clint Eastwood, Dame Helen Mirren, Steven Spielberg, Ben Stiller, George Lucas, Kate Winslett, Robert De Niro, Daniel Day Lewis and George Clooney.
The red carpet star packed event included director Mike Leigh and actors Dame Judi Dench, Emma Watson, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Robert Downey Jr.
But most of the attendees Thursday night were Brits — no surprise there, given the party was thrown by the L.A. branch of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
Downey received the Stanley Kubrick Award for Excellence in Film, named after the legendary director of such films as “2001: A Space Odyssey”
It wasnt so long ago Downey received the Betty Ford award for the most stays in rebab.
Downey spewing his e reverent brand of poetry said “(The award) means a heck of a lot to me,” said Downey. “I love British filmmakers, and they have such a great talent pool.”
Oscar-winning actress Dench was honored with Albert R. (“Cubby”) Broccoli Award for Worldwide Contribution in Entertainment, named after one of the original producers of the James Bond films.
Noted Dench, “Well, I’m rather overwhelmed by (the award), because I didn’t ever expect to have a film career at all.
I never knew Cubby Broccoli, although I know, of course, (Albert’s daughter) Barbara Broccoli and (Barbara’s half-brother and Bond-series producer) Michael Wilson very well.
And I’ve had 17 years of doing Bond, which has been just wonderful. So, I’m very, very proud that I shall have something that is named after Cubby.”
Dench and fellow honoree Watson posed together for photographers on the arrivals line.
Watson, named Britannia British Artist of the Year, said Dench is “just all soul and all grace and strength and beauty, and she really, for me, she’s an iconic British actor. She’s what you aspire to be.”
The 79-year-old Dench is currently on a box-office roll, with her 2012 releases “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and “Skyfall” and her Oscar-nominated 2013 “Philomena” all boasting worldwide grosses of more than $100 million each.
Dench’s next film is the sequel “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” hitting cinemas in February.
Dench said, “People like to say, `When are you retiring?’ Or `When are you going to slow down?’
That’s all very rude in my family. We don’t say any of that. I think if I stop, it’ll be like a car: I shall run out of petrol and fall over. So, I plan not to that, if possible.”
The BAFTA Los Angeles Jaguar Britannia Awards are set to air on BBC America 2 November.
The Britannia Awards are presented annually at a gala dinner, where peers and colleagues celebrate the work and accomplishments of the year’s distinguished honorees. Proceeds from the gala ceremony support BAFTA Los Angeles’ on-going education, scholarship, community outreach and archival projects.
We are proud to celebrate our 2014 Honorees…
Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench was awarded the 2014 Albert R. Broccoli Britannia Award for Worldwide Contribution to Entertainment.
Recipients are that rare breed of iconic and trail-blazing individuals whose innovative approach has had a profound, lasting impact on the entertainment industry and whose contributions to the moving image are second to none.
Robert Downey Jr
Robert Downey Jr was the recipient of the 2014 Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film.
The award is presented to a unique individual, upon whose work is stamped the indelible mark of authorship and commitment, and who has lifted the craft to new heights.
The Award is named in honor of Stanley Kubrick, a brilliant, daring, multi-hyphenate filmmaker, who embraced the filmmaking talents in the UK for much of his career.
Emma Watson was the recipient of The Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year presented by Burberry.
This honor pays tribute to a talented British artist whose outstanding performances have demonstrated the high quality of their craftsmanship.
Whether an emerging talent, or an established name, the British Artist of the Year is a person who represents the best of UK’s talent.
Mark Ruffalo received this year’s Britannia Humanitarian Award for his work with Water Defense, the non-profit organization Ruffalo co-founded to keep waterways and drinking water sources free from contamination and industrial degradation.
The award is presented to a colleague who has used the art forms of the moving image and/or their position in the entertainment industry to create positive social change and actively shine a light on important humanitarian issues that need global attention.
Julia Louis-Drefus was honored with the Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy
The award bears the name of the consummate British comedic artist and one of the most universally recognized personalities in the history of entertainment. The Award recognizes talent whose popularity and cultural impact exemplifies the uniquely transcendent quality of excellent comedy.
Mike Leigh received The John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing presented by the GREAT Britain Campaign.
The Award is presented to deeply respected, distinctive and innovative directors, whose contribution as both technicians and artists represents the zenith of the directing profession. The honor is given in the name of the brilliant British director who made an unprecedented contribution to one of the great periods in American cinema.