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Alfonso Cuarón sets the record straight about the ‘Britishness’ of Gravity


- Mexican director responds to criticism about the nationality of his film

Alfonso Cuarón sets the record straight about the ‘Britishness’ of Gravity
Director Alfonso Cuarón and producer David Heyman

Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity [+see also:
making of
film profile
, winner of six BAFTAs including Outstanding British Film and best Director (news), has had its ‘Britishness’ questioned. The Mexican-born Cuarón wrote the film with his son Jonás and the film, about an American astronaut’s struggle for survival when her shuttle is destroyed by space debris, stars American actors Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. One of the film’s producers is David Heyman, producer of the Harry Potter series.

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Charlemagne Youth Prize

At the BAFTA ceremony Cuarón was asked the question: “Sir, the film has come under a lot of criticism, unfair criticism, for the idea that it is British, this nomination.  I wonder if you could set the record straight for us and tell us just how British it is.”

Cuarón replied: “Well, I don’t need to set the record straight.  I mean, there’s a series of rules that make a film eligible for BAFTAs as a best British film or not. And Gravity definitely has all the requirements, you know, except a couple of Mexicans that came here legally, I have to say.  Is that okay?  And a couple of American stars.  The rest is a film that was completely shot in this country, developed in this country.  And you know, it’s cutting edge technology developed by British artists; and I wanted to say ‘artists’ because I don’t like the distinction between the technical awards and the artistic awards. Saying so, for me, the real question about the BAFTAs is why, being an institution, that it is a British institution, needs a definition for best film?  By that, I mean why it needs to be best British film?  It should be ‘best film’ and it should be ‘best non-British film’.

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