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Saturday's opening mainly looked at the crafts side in film-making and handed out nine awards.
At the start of the programme, host Clara Amfo paid tribute to Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth's husband, who died on Friday (April 9), aged 99. Philip was named BAFTA's first president in 1959 and had a close association to the academy since. His grandson, Prince William is BAFTA's current president.
"It was Prince Philip and Her Majesty the Queen's support through these years that in many ways allowed BAFTA, a leading charity in the arts, to continue in difficult times, and to be here today in 2021, celebrating another outstanding year of achievement in film," Amfo said. "The Duke of Edinburgh occupies a very special place in BAFTA history and he will be missed. Our thoughts are with the royal family."