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Bigelow wins Oscar for Hurt Locker

Kathryn Bigelow has made history at the Oscars after becoming the first woman to win the Best Director award.

The film-maker also won the battle of the exes at the ceremony, with her Iraq War film The Hurt Locker also winning Best Film and a total of six awards compared with three for former husband James Cameron's 3D epic Avatar.

Bigelow's best director gong was greeted with loud cheers from the star-studded audience in Los Angeles.

The 82nd Academy Awards also saw bookies' favourite Jeff Bridges scoop Best Actor for country and western flick Cruel Heart, and Sandra Bullock win Best Actress for her role in The Blind Side.

Inglourious Basterds star Christoph Waltz was the night's first big winner, as he was named best supporting actor, for his performance as the Nazi Hans Landa.

Mo`Nique was named best supporting actress for another villainous role, that of the abusive mother, Mary, in Precious. Fighting back tears, she thanked the Academy "for showing that it can be about the performance and not the politics".

The Hurt Locker bagged best original screenplay, giving writer Mark Boal his first Oscar. Boal dedicated the gong to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the wounded and those who had not made it home.

The best adapted screenplay gong went to Precious, beating Armando Iannucci's In The Loop writing team.

Sandy Powell was the only British winner, taking home her third Oscar for costume design based on her work on The Young Victoria.

© Press Association