Captain Moonlight: And the winner is, er, not quite finished

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The Independent Online
VIEWERS excitedly awaiting the Bafta awards for film next month might be slightly puzzled by some of the nominations. Tom and Viv for Best British Film? But has it been released yet? Er, actually no, admits Bafta. The world premiere is scheduled for 15 April, just 10 days before the ceremony.

Previously, eligible movies had to come out in Britain during the calendar year before the awards. But the nominations announced this February included three which hadn't yet opened - the other two being Shadowlands and Schindler's List.

The problem apparently was that it was just too embarrassing honouring the big American successes a whole year after the Oscars. 'We were constantly made to look a year behind the times' said a spokesman. So the rules were tweaked to include films that had been screened to the Bafta members during 1993. As long as the production company got it together to put on a screening, and the members bothered to show up that night, it was all as democratic as can be. The one proviso was that the films had to be released by 11 March. So, er, Tom and Viv?

'It was shown for a couple of weeks in a provincial cinema so the public were able to see it,' said a Bafta spokesman. Which cinema? When? She wasn't sure, 'maybe Oxford'. Tom and Viv's distributors couldn't tell me either. But the Bafta spokesman did confirm that films have to be finished before they're eligible for an award. A rough cut or casting list won't cut the mustard - not this year anyway.

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