JAMES Cameron’s 3D extravaganza Avatar has won three accolades at the Empire Film Awards in London.
In a good night for science fiction and fantasy, Avatar won best film, Cameron took the best director prize, and Zoe Saldana won best actress.
Sir Ian McKellen, who starred in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the X-Men movies, was presented with the Empire Icon award.
JJ Abrams’ Star Trek movie won best sci-fi/fantasy film.
Picking up the award, Simon Pegg (who played Scotty) said that films like Star Trek, District 9 and Avatar meant it had been a good year for science fiction.
“It’s nice to see some recognition,” he told the BBC.
“Star Trek was a hard thing to do, JJ did it with amazing aplomb. He took a story that people were starting to lose interest in — in the mainstream — and brought it back to a larger audience.”
On his icon award, Sir Ian McKellen said: “I’ve played iconic parts — I think that’s the point. I played Gandalf the Grey and the White and Magneto. So their lustre rubs off on me rather than the other way round.”
Fellow Lord of The Rings star Andy Serkis was surprised at the ceremony with the inspiration award.
The best newcomer award went to 19-year-old Aaron Johnson for his portrayal of a young John Lennon in Nowhere Boy. He currently stars in action comedy Kick Ass.
Fellow British actor Ray Winstone received the outstanding contribution to British film award, while Jude Law, recently seen as Dr Watson in Sherlock Holmes, was awarded the title of Empire Hero.
The film itself, directed by Guy Ritchie, picked up the best thriller award.
The Empire awards, at the Grosvenor House Hotel, were hosted by Irish comedian Dara O’Briain.
Comedian and actor Johnny Vegas picked up the best actress award on behalf of Avatar star Zoe Saldana.
In a rare serious moment, Vegas said: “From technical point of view Avatar has changed the face of film-making, and it can capture an actor’s emotions down to a pinpoint.” — BBCOnline.