Another early flight this morning. I am on my way to Berlin Film Festival for a board meeting of the European Association of Film Schools, where I will tell them that our graduation film Head Over Heels has been nominated for an Oscar - our third nomination under my watch at the UK National Film ad TV School... I know, I'm insufferable!
This is the second time I've flown to Berlin in the past seven days. Last week I was there for an eight hour (!) board meeting of the European Film Academy that hosts the European Film Awards every December. After the board meet I rushed off to see the footy with my Real Madrid supporting friend Antonio Saura (England v Brazil and France v Germany) only to be followed out by the whole board!
Anyway I had to come back for the Baftas this weekend. As the chair of Bafta Film I'm involved in the Bafta rehearsals on Saturday and Sunday. It's a real pleasure to hear the inimitable Stephen Fry (the host of the Baftas) hone his script with his wonderful wit or to hear the unique Paloma Faith backed by a brilliant London choir all produced by the amazing composer (Bond films) and producer (Shirley Bassey) David Arnold - first in the private rehearsals and then after to see them both work their magic on an assembly of major stars of cinema.
As the Los Angeles Times admitted "the Baftas have mushroomed in significance and star power in recent years as a semi accurate predictor of Oscar success and a red carpet draw for A -list American [and British] talent".
With the likes of George Clooney, Ben Affleck (both mega multi talents as well as stars), Daniel Day-Lewis and many others, it was quite an evening. After saying goodnight to director Thomas Vinterburg (the powerful The Hunt), I followed it by (for me) an unusually late night at a really fun Harvey Weinstein party. I also spoke with Tom Hooper whose film Les Mis was I think an act of real filmmaking courage in going for a fully sung live interpretation of the stage version. I told him I had expected not to get it at all but came away from a wonderful film deeply moved.
I also managed to make it to the positively surreal but hugely enjoyable Evening Standard awards at the beginning of the week. It's surreal because it takes place in the old council chambers of the Greater London Council (abolished by Maggie T in the eighties!)
The comedian actor Stephen Mangan hosted it as wittily as Stephen did the Baftas. I sat next to the charming mother of the (in her husband's seat who could not make it) the wonderful actor Eddie Redmayne whose Richard the Second at the Donmar was equalled by his performance and singing in Les Mis.
So all in all quite a week and weekend. After the board meeting today I am retiring with my girlfriend and her son to the Berlin Soho House to recuperate until the next round of awards...
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