1993

Welcome Back: British Film category returns
The relationship between British and international (particularly US) film has long been a preoccupation of the Academy. In the Academy's earlier years, several categories were open only to British filmmakers, but in 1969 the British Film category was scrapped in favour of just one prize – Best Film – in which UK filmmakers would compete with their international peers.

The move coincided with the lull in British film production of the 1970s, but when a new wave of extraordinary British movies lit up the 80s, the case began to seem irresistible for another prize to reward the distinctive character of British film. In 1993, a British Film category was duly reintroduced, called the Alexander Korda Award for Outstanding British Film of the Year in honour of the great director/producer who founded the Academy in 1947.

The winner that year was The Crying Game, the first in a series of victorious films whose excellence spoke loud and clear as to why the award had been relaunched – their number including Shallow Grave, The Madness of King George, Secrets & Lies and Nil by Mouth.

Image: Still from The Crying Game (1992) of Jaye Davidson and Stephen Rea.



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Scala Productions Ltd/BFI National Archive

Video: Alan Bates presents the Alexander Korda Award for Outstanding British Film to Neil Jordan and Stephen Woolley for The Crying Game at the BAFTA Film & Television Awards in 1993 (Source: BBC Motion Gallery).