Baftas gong stokes up Irish Oscars hopes with film win for 'Brooklyn'
Last night's 69th British Academy Film Awards (Baftas) began on a high note for the Irish as 'Brooklyn' took home the first prize of the night.
The Irish/British/Canadian co-production won Outstanding British Film at the event held in London's Royal Opera House last night, which was hosted by Stephen Fry.
It pipped to the post Irish co-production 'The Lobster', starring Colin Farrell, part of which was shot in Co Kerry.
'Brooklyn' also beat competition from 'The Danish Girl', 'Ex Machina', 'Amy' and '45 Years'.
Following last night's win, those involved in the film will now be pinning their hopes on repeating that success on Oscars night.
The film, which tells the tale of immigration from Ireland to the US in the early 1950s, is directed by John Crowley and is based on Colm Tóibín's novel of the same name. It was shot in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, and in Dublin.
'Brooklyn' received six Bafta nominations, including Outstanding British Film, Adapted Screenplay, Costume Design and Make Up and Hair for Irish team Morna Ferguson and Lorraine Glynn.
Irish actress Saoirse Ronan was nominated for her role as Eilis Lacey but lost out on the Best Actress award to Brie Larson. Larson stars in the drama 'Room', directed by Dubliner Lenny Abrahamson.
Michael Fassbender was nominated for Leading Actor in 'Steve Jobs', but in a repeat of the recent Screen Actors Guild awards, lost out again to Leonardo DiCaprio for his role in 'The Revenant'.
Emma Donoghue, writer of 'Room', was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. 'Room' is another Irish/British/Canadian co-production. It has a been nominated for a number of Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Abrahamson and Best Adapted Screenplay for Donoghue.
Ronan paused to take selfies with fans upon her arrival on the red carpet in a custom-made Burberry appliqué strapless dress.
Kate Winslet, in picking up Best Supporting Actress gong for performance in 'Steve Jobs', called the film's lead star Michael Fassbender "an extraordinary actor".
A protest calling for greater diversity in the film industry took place outside the ceremony. A group called Creatives of Colour Network organised a protest beside the red carpet against a lack of racial diversity in show business.
The British awards are considered a portent of success at the Oscars, which take place on February 28.