The action film Gravity, written and directed by Mexico native Alfonso Cuaron, won 11 BAFTA nominations last week, putting it just ahead of the pack for Britain's top film honors, while 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle are in the running in 10 categories.
The space thriller starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, scored more nods than any other film with nominations which include Best Film, Best British Film, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Script.
The inclusion of the film in the candidatures for the so-called "British Oscars" is due to the fact that it is partly a British film production. Gravity tells of the epic tale of the undertaking of a group of scientists in an expedition to repair the famous Hubble Telescope in outer space.
The 2013 film is followed in nominations by 12 Years a Slave, directed by Britain's Steve McQueen, and American Hustle by US filmmaker David O. Russell.
12 Years a Slave tells the autobiography of Solomon Northup, who is portrayed by British actor Chiwetel Eijofor. Northup was a free Afro-American born in New York to Nigerian parents in the early-1800s. He was kidnapped in Washington D.C. and sold into slavery in the southern United States.
American Hustle narrates the details of the ABSCAM operation led by the FBI in the 70s and 80s. The crime comedy-drama stars Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, and Jennifer Lawrence, who are all nominated for awards.
Speaking to the press, Ejiofor, who has already been the recipient of scores of year-end critics' awards and looks strong for the Best Actor award, said he was immensely proud of the recognition he has won with the film, and is particularly honored to be nominated for a BAFTA at home.
The other four candidates for best actor are: Christian Bale for American Hustle, Tom Hanks for Captain Phillips, Bruce Dern for Nebraska, and Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street.
Best Actress nominees are: Sandra Bullock for Gravity, Amy Adams for American Hustle, Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine, Emma Thompson for Saving Mr. Banks, and Judi Dench for Philomena.
Best Film candidates are 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Gravity, and Philomena.
The nominees for Best British Film are: Gravity, Philomena, Mandela: The Long Road to Freedom,Saving Mr. Banks, The Selfish Giant, and Rush.
The results of the British Academy Film Awards will be announced by Stephen Fry at the Royal Opera House, London, on Sunday, February 16th.Source: IMDB.com