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February 2004
Brown Paper Bag wins BAFTA award
A scene from Brown Paper Bag
Natasha Carlish clutches her BAFTA
A team of film-makers from Birmingham joined some of Hollywood's biggest stars at the BAFTA awards...and came away with the prize for Best Short Film.
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Brown Paper Bag cost just four thousand pounds to make, and was shot partly at Pebble Mill on the set of the BBC drama Doctors, The Cricketers pub in Edgbaston, and Sandwell College.

Natasha Carlish
Natasha Carlish accepts the BAFTA for best short film

The powerful thirteen minute drama about an alcoholic couple on the road to self destruction won the Birmingham based company behind it took the ultimate accolade - the BAFTA for the best short film.

Brown Paper Bag was the first film released from Birmingham's Dreamfinder productions.

Producer Natasha Carlish said they were astounded when they realised they were the winners.


Natasha Carlish and Michael Clifford
Natasha Carlish and Michael Clifford on the set of Doctors with their Bafta.

"We all just stood up and screamed - I cannot remember getting from my seat to the stage - or anything I said! I didn't expect we'd win.

"I feel amazing the phone hasn't stopped ringing all morning im really proud of everyone who helped to make the film.

"I think its a great day for everybody in Birmingham who's involved in film and television." said Natasha who dashed back to Birmingham after a night at the Bafta's.

Director Michael Clifford was also back at work in Birmingham where he directs BBC's Doctors; "It's like watching your team in the world cup score a goal - and then scoring one yourself!

Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro
Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro

Strolling down the red carpet alongside our Birmingham film makers were the cream of the world's actors such as Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp, Holly Hunter, Jude Law, Scarlett Johansson, Benicio Del Toro, Emma Thompson and Naomi Watts.

"Johnny Depp sat two rows in front of us" said Natasha "He came over and said 'hmm, what did you get that for? Do they make films in Birmingham?'" Director Michael Clifford cheekily told Johnny (who was nominated for best actor) that he could hold the BAFTA if he wanted, as he didn't have his own.

Brown Paper Bag has certainly put the Midlands on the film-making map, and Natasha Carlish is confident that the region can produce the goods in the future;

Natasha Carlish and Dreamfinder productions
Natasha Carlish and Dreamfinder productions receive their award

"We have got a strong group of producers in the West Midlands and some great projects in development. There's some fantasticly talented young writers and directors coming through.

"We've got some real potential - but it is a struggle financially - I juggle 9 different jobs just to be able to develop my feature films. I think in the next one to 2 years we will see feature films coming out of Birmingham."

FULL LIST OF WINNERS

Best Film - Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King

Outstanding British Film Of The Year - Touching The Void

Special Achievements By A British Director/Producer/Writer In Their First Feature Film - Emily Young, Director/Writer of Kiss Of Life

Best Director - Peter Weir, Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World

Best Original Screenplay - The Station Agent

Best Adapted Screenplay - The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

Best Film Not In The English Language - In This World

Best Actor - Bill Murray, Lost In Translation

Best Actress - Scarlett Johansson, Lost In Translation

Best Supporting Actor - Bill Nighy, Love Actually

Best Supporting Actress - Renee Zellweger, Cold Mountain

Best Music - Cold Mountain

Best Cinematography - Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King

Best Editing - Lost In Translation

Best Production Design - Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World

Best Costume Design - Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World

Best Sound - Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World

Best Special Effects - Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King

Best Make-up And Hair - Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl

Best Short Animation - Jojo In The Stars

Best Short Film - Brown Paper Bag

The Film Of The Year (voted by the public) - The Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King.
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