The Hurt Locker wins BAFTA award for best film.
It eclipsed the 3-D
The Iraq war drama "The Hurt Locker" won the British BAFTA award for best film late on Sunday, the sixth prize the low-budget picture picked up on the night.
It eclipsed the 3-D blockbuster "Avatar", which, like "The Hurt Locker", had been nominated for eight BAFTAs.
The two movies also lead the field for the Oscars awards ceremony on March 7. The Hurt Locker's Kathryn Bigelow won the award for best director, best actor was Colin Firth for "A Single Man" and best actress was Carey Mulligan for "An Education". Bigelow was the first woman to win the best director award for her movie portraying elite soldiers tasked with defusing bombs in the heat of combat.
Collecting her best film award from U.S. actor Dustin Hoffman, she said the prize was "beyond our wildest imagination."
"This is so unbelievable, we're just so deeply honored and humbled," said the director at the London awards ceremony.
"The Hurt Locker" also picked up prizes for original screenplay, cinematography, editing and sound at the ceremony, which attracted stars including Uma Thurman, Kate Winslet and Colin Firth.
"Avatar", the world's biggest-ever grossing movie, picked up just two awards from eight nods for special visual effects and production design.
The BAFTAs come two weeks before the Oscars where "Avatar" and "The Hurt Locker" are also locked in a dead heat, leading the field with nine nominations each.
A glittering ceremony, the BAFTAs is one of the most hotly anticipated events in the film calendar and thousands of fans packed out London's Covent Garden to catch a glimpse of the A-listers as they arrived.
Best film not in the English language went to French prison drama "A Prophet", directed by Jacques Audiard.
Best supporting actor went to Austrian Christoph Waltz, for his part as a Nazi in Quentin Tarantino's film "Inglourious Basterds", and best supporting actress went to Mo'Nique for her role in "Precious."
It was also revealed at Sunday's ceremony that Prince William will become the British Academy of Film and Television Arts' (BAFTA's) fifth president, following in his grandfather's footsteps.
The 27-year-old, who succeeds legendary director Richard Attenborough, was greeted with huge cheers from crowds lining the red carpet on his arrival.
British actress Vanessa Redgrave received a standing ovation when she received the Academy fellowship, the highest accolade from the British Academy for contribution to film.
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