Leading the nominations, which were announced in Glasgow yesterday, is the hit musical Sunshine on Leith with five nominations, including Best Film and a clutch of acting nominations – Peter Mullan for Best Actor, both Jane Horrocks and Freya Mavor for Best Actress and Dexter Fletcher for Best Director.
Sunshine on Leith is up against stiff competition, with Filth, an adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s controversial novel, receiving three nominations. In addition to Best Film, its star McAvoy and director Jon S Baird receive nods for Best Actor and Director respectively. Joining the two films in the Best Film category is Starred Up, a hard-edged prison drama, whose leading man Jack O’Connell, director David Mackenzie and writer Jonathan Asser all received nominations.
Due to the high number of entries this year, the male and female performances have been split into two categories in both film and television for the first time in the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) Scotland Awards’ history.
In the Best Actress Film category, Horrocks and Mavor are joined by Sophie Kennedy Clark for her role in Philomena, while competing for Best Actress Television are Waterloo Road’s Laurie Brett, Shirley Henderson of Southcliffe and Sharon Rooney of My Mad Fat Diary.
The Best Actor Television category sees Mark Bonnar from Line of Duty and Shetland star Douglas Henshall both nominated along with Doctor Who star David Tennant for his role in The Escape Artist.
Jude MacLaverty, director of Bafta Scotland, said: “We’re delighted with the list our juries have come up with. For us, this is a really strong list, and to be able to separate the categories for actor and actress in both television and film for the first time was really special for us.”
Ms MacLaverty said that the past 12 months had been a “buoyant year” for film, which had led to a strong nominations list, but she anticipated it would continue into the next awards.
The British Academy Scotland Awards is one of the biggest nights in Scotland’s entertainment calendar and is renowned for welcoming and honouring an impressive line-up of stars. It is anticipated that many of the nominated stars will attend the ceremony when it is held at Glasgow’s Radisson Blu hotel, hosted by BBC sports presenter Hazel Irvine, on 16 November.
“The actors and actresses are very proud of those films and those roles,” Ms McLaverty said. “So we of course we invite every-
body. We’ve had word back from a few, and they are coming – they are exciting names.”
Among the nominations in the video game category this year is the hugely successful but controversial Grand Theft Auto V, designed by Edinburgh-based Rockstar North.
The Scotsman film critic Alistair Harkness said that while the films and actors nominated were strong this year, the absence of Under the Skin, a sci-fi horror set in Scotland starring Hollywood’s Scarlett Johansson, was a “glaring omission”.
He said: “Filth was okay, but James McAvoy is brilliant in it; he buoyed that film a lot. Starred Up is a strong film, but bolstered by a great performance from Jack O’Connell.
“Peter Mullan in Sunshine on Leith seemed to make the film less cheery. He’s got so much gravitas that he managed to ground it and gave the songs he sang a real emotional quality that was unexpected.
“But if for some reason Under the Skin was eligible and not nominated, that was a pretty glaring omission by Bafta Scotland voters, because it was the most artistically audacious film made in Scotland for years.”