BAFTAs: Backstage with winners for Animated Feature (‘Kubo and the Two Strings’) & Foreign-Language Film (‘Son of Saul’)

Kubo and the Two Strings” edged out the overwhelming frontrunner “Zootopia” to claim Best Animated Feature at the BAFTAs. While it was ranked second on our BAFTA odds chart, “Kubo” had odds of only 25/1 making it a long-shot at best. Asked how it felt to ‘take down’ the Disney favorite, the quick-witted “Kubo” director Travis Knight replied: “Taken down? Is that how you put it? Alright, I’ll take that!”

BAFTA Awards 2017: Full list of winners

He then elaborated, “We definitely are the David to their Goliath in this situation – and they make wonderful films so it’s an honor to even be in that same category. But at the same time we recognize we are a small studio – clearly the British academy has great taste so hats off. But no, it’s a real thrill and we are honored to be here.”

As Knight explained, “We work in a crummy warehouse and it took us five years to make this movie in stop motion and we work on these raggedy stages. So even to be considered as some of the finest storytellers in the medium is an incredible honor. But for us to actually win – I still can’t believe it. It’s shocking, I’m holing onto this thing [his BAFTA award] like grim death, I’m afraid somebody is gonna take it away from me!”

While “Kubo” is currently second in our Oscar odds charts at 33/1 behind “Zootopia” with odds of 1/10- that may change in the coming days.

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Conversely, as predicted “Son of Saul” won Best Foreign-Language Feature at the BAFTAs over, among others, this year’s Oscar frontrunner in that race, “Toni Erdmann.” It’s actually a revisit to the awards circuit for the team behind “Son of Saul,” who won at last year’s Oscar. I asked writer/director Laszlo Nemes backstage if it felt strange to come back a year later and still be winning major awards:

“It’s a great honor but it’s very strange to be back on this awards ceremony trail. Because we are preparing our next movie, we have a completely different mindset now. Obviously it was a great experience to have this international journey with the film but now it takes me back to it and reminds how intense and incredibly humbling it was and what a strange experience it was. It’s still unreal, it still feels unreal today.”

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Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films are faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before winners are announced on February 26 at 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.

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