Choose Your Bafta Winner

Article excerpt

THE BAFTA awards are Britain's answer to the Oscars - and you have a chance to vote for your favourite film of the year and to attend the star-studded ceremony itself.

Last year was a bumper one for British cinema, with home-grown films and talent contributing to smash hits such as Shakespeare In Love, Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels and Sliding Doors.

Now Daily Mail readers have a chance to decide which film should pick up the only one of the coveted BAFTAs voted for by cinemagoers.

The shortlist for the Orange Audience Awards pits such American films as Saving Private Ryan, Armageddon and A Bug's Life against home-grown favourites.

Some on the list, for example Armageddon with Bruce Willis, and Godzilla, are big studio films with [pounds sterling]100 million budgets and big, bankable stars.

Others, like Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, achieved huge success despite having tight budgets and no big names.

Lock Stock was Guy Ritchie's first feature-length film. He wrote and directed it with a cast of unknowns apart, of course, from Sting and footballer Vinnie Jones.

The shortlisted There's Something About Mary surprised many when it 'broke through' to be popular with huge audiences, thanks to a comic performance from Cameron Diaz, casting off her model-girl image.

Shakespeare In Love, starring Dame Judi Dench, Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow, was one of the biggest hits of the year, but almost never got made.

Originally, it was to star Julia Roberts, but she dropped out when Daniel Day-Lewis turned down the role of Shakespeare opposite her. It finally came to the screen six years later with a rewritten script and new cast, and has taken cinema audiences by storm. …