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Glitzy London red carpet returns for BAFTA Awards

The British Academy Film Awards returned as a glitzy in-person event on Sunday, with stars including Lady Gaga and Benedict Cumberbatch walking the red carpet at London's Royal Albert Hall.

Australian actress and comedian Rebel Wilson will host this year's ceremony, known as the BAFTAs (British Academy of Film and Television Arts), following a virtual event last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Science fiction epic "Dune", a mammoth adaptation of Frank Herbert's 1965 novel, leads nominations with 11 nods, mainly in the creative and technical categories.

Dark Western "The Power of the Dog" follows with eight nominations and "Belfast", Kenneth Brannagh's semi-autobiographical black and white comedy drama set at the onset of Northern Ireland's three decades of conflict, has six.

All three will compete with coming-of-age tale "Licorice Pizza" and "Don't Look Up", a humorous warning about climate change, for the top prize of the night, best film.

Singer Shirley Bassey will open the show, performing a James Bond movie theme in honour of the film franchise's 60th anniversary.

Not all nominees are present, with "The Power of the Dog" director Jane Campion and Will Smith, in the running for leading actor for playing the father of tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams in "King Richard", among those absent.

Nominees for leading actress are Lady Gaga ("House of Gucci"), Alana Haim ("Licorice Pizza"), Emilia Jones ("CODA"), Renate Reinsve ("The Worst Person in the World"), Joanna Scanlan ("After Love") and Tessa Thompson ("Passing").

Leading actor nominees also include Cumberbatch ("The Power of the Dog"), Leonardo DiCaprio ("Don't Look Up"), Adeel Akhtar ("Ali & Ava"), Mahershala Ali ("Swan Song") and Stephen Graham ("Boiling Point").

Half of the best director nominees this year are women: Campion for "The Power of the Dog", Audrey Diwan for "Happening", a French drama about illegal abortion in the 1960s, and Julia Ducournau for body horror "Titane".

Aleem Khan ("After Love"), Ryûsuke Hamaguchi ("Drive My Car") and Paul Thomas Anderson ("Licorice Pizza") complete the list.

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