The 70th British Academy Film Awards, and for sponsorship reasons the EE British Academy Film Awards, more commonly known as the BAFTAs, were held on 12 February 2017 at the Royal Albert Hall in London, to honour the best British and international contributions to film in 2016. Presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), accolades are handed out for the best feature-length film and documentaries of any nationality screened at British cinemas in 2016.
The nominees were announced on 10 January 2017 by actor Dominic Cooper and actress Sophie Turner, La La Land had the most nominations in eleven categories including the top four categories of best film, best actor and actress in a lead role and best director. Arrival and Nocturnal Animals followed with nine nominations each.
Following criticism at the lack of representation of ethnic minorities in the 2016 awards, BAFTA had announced steps to increase diversity across the industry, on both sides of the camera. However, there was again criticism at the lack of representation of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) actors, directors and films in the nominations. In the leading actor, actress and director fields there were no BAME nominees, with the omission of directors Barry Jenkins for Moonlight and Denzel Washington for Fences highlighted as particularly noteworthy.
La La Land won the most awards at the event, winning five including Best Film. Damien Chazelle won for Best Director, Linus Sandgren for Best Cinematography, Justin Hurwitz for Best Original Music, and Emma Stone for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Both Manchester by the Sea and Lion won two awards each: Kenneth Lonergan won Best Original Screenplay and Casey Affleck won Best Actor in a Leading Role for Manchester by the Sea, while Luke Davies won Best Adapted Screenplay and Dev Patel won Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Lion. Additionally, in acting categories, Viola Davis won Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her role in Fences. Mel Brooks was awarded the Academy Fellowship for his contribution to cinema.
Stephen John Fry (born 24 August 1957) is an English comedian, actor, writer, presenter, and activist. After a troubled childhood and adolescence, during which he was expelled from two schools and spent three months in prison for credit card fraud, Fry secured a place at Queens' College, Cambridge, where he studied English literature. While at university, he became involved with the Cambridge Footlights, where he met his long-time collaborator Hugh Laurie. As half of the comic double act Fry and Laurie, he co-wrote and co-starred in A Bit of Fry & Laurie and also took the role of Jeeves (with Laurie playing Wooster) in Jeeves and Wooster.
Fry's acting roles include a Golden Globe Award–nominated lead performance in the film Wilde, Melchett in the BBC television series Blackadder, the title character in the television series Kingdom, a recurring guest role as Dr Gordon Wyatt on the crime series Bones, and as Gordon Deitrich in the dystopian thriller V for Vendetta. He has also written and presented several documentary series, including the Emmy Award–winning Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, which saw him explore his bipolar disorder, and the travel series Stephen Fry in America. He was also the long-time host of the BBC television quiz show QI, with his tenure lasting from 2003 to 2016.
Besides working in television, Fry has contributed columns and articles for newspapers and magazines and written four novels and three volumes of autobiography, Moab Is My Washpot, The Fry Chronicles and More Fool Me. He also appears frequently on BBC Radio 4, starring in the comedy series Absolute Power, being a frequent guest on panel games such as Just a Minute, and acting as chairman for I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, where he was one of a trio of hosts who succeeded the late Humphrey Lyttelton.
Fry is also known for his voice-overs, reading all seven of the Harry Potter novels for the UK audiobook recordings, narrating the LittleBigPlanet and Birds of Steel series of video games, as well as an animated series of explanations of the laws of cricket, and a series of animations about Humanism for the British Humanist Association. He has also filmed commercials, including an advertisement where he explains the essence of British culture to foreigners arriving at London's Heathrow Airport.