There were the inevitable murmurings when Gravity took home the Bafta Award for Best British film during last night's ceremony, largely because many don't believe a movie with two American stars - Sandra Bullock and George Clooney - and a Mexican director should be eligible in that category. However, any detractors are overlooking the lion's share of work on the award-winning feature that was completed in Britain - an effort recognised with gongs for cinematography, sound and visual effects.
The film's director, Alfonso Cuarón, had plenty to say backstage on the matter: "I don’t need to set the record straight. There are a series of rules that make a film eligible for Bafta and Gravity has all the requirements except a couple of Mexicans who came here legally and a couple of American stars. The rest is a film that was completely shot and developed in this country.
"It was developed by British artists - and I want to say artists because I don’t like the distinction between the technical awards and the artistic awards. For me the real question about Baftas is why a British institution needs a definition for best film? By that I mean why does it need to be Best British film? It should be Best Film and it should be Best Non-British Film."
An interesting observation considering he had just triumphed over fellow British Film nominees Philomena, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, The Selfish Giant, Rush and Saving Mr Banks.
When questioned about what his latest effort had brought to his home nation's film environment, Cuaron - who also took home the Best Director prize - admitted, "this is not a Mexican film. I feel embarrassed that this film doesn’t provide any benefits to the Mexican film industry and ultimately very little for the Mexican culture except maybe the idea that a Mexican is doing a film like this.
"I’m very grateful for the support that the Mexican public and media has had for me. But at the same time it’s not to self-congratulate in the sense that more support is needed for real Mexican films that are making a big impact – in the last two years Mexican directors have won best director at Cannes."