DUBAI: Sci-fi epic blockbuster “Dune” led the nominations for this year’s British Academy Film Awards.
“Dune,” starring US actors Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya, received 11 nominations on Thursday including best film, cinematography and original score.
When shooting for the film, director Denis Villeneuve turned his gaze to the Middle East. He brought his all-star cast to the real-life dunes of the Liwa desert in Abu Dhabi and Wadi Rum in Jordan.
He took over a Liwa desert resort for filming, bringing the cast and crew out in the early morning to capture the mist and haze that the Abu Dhabi desert offered.
“It is one of my best memories from that shoot,” Villeneuve previously told Arab News. “It was exhausting. But it was so rewarding. And we had so much fun. And I think that everybody brought back great memories from that trip.”
Written by Villeneuve along with Eric Roth and Jon Spaihts, “Dune” has been adapted from Frank Herbert’s 1965 book by the same name.
New Zealand director Jane Campion’s dark Western, “The Power Of The Dog,” set in 1920s Montana and starring Benedict Cumberbatch as a ranch owner, follows close behind with eight nominations, including best director and best film.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Cumberbatch are among those nominated in the leading actor category, along with Will Smith, who received his first BAFTA nomination for his role as the father of Serena and Venus Williams in “King Richard.”
The annual film awards celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, and winners will be announced during a ceremony hosted by Australian actress Rebel Wilson at the Royal Albert Hall in London on March 13.
The leading actress list included Lady Gaga for “House of Gucci,” Alana Haim for “Licorice Pizza” and Emilia Jones for “Coda.”
Daniel Craig’s last James Bond film, “No Time to Die,” and Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” both received five nominations.