LOS ANGELES - Sam Mendes has been named Best Director at the 2020 BAFTA Awards. The 54-year-old filmmaker scored the gong for his action movie ‘1917’ - which is set during World War I - at the star-studded awards ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Sunday (02.02.20), and used his acceptance speech to thank his ‘’incredible’’ cast, which included George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Andrew Scott, Richard Madden, and Mark Strong. Speaking on stage, he said: ‘’Thank you very much. Thank you very very much BAFTA. In the midst of all this hoopla and stuff it’s easy to forget the actual experience of shooting a movie, and I had a sort of director’s paradise in this film that I think I will never ever have again, so I want to say a real thank you to the people who actually helped me make this film.

‘’To an incredible cast - to George Mackay, who was extraordinary in this film. To Dean-Charles Chaplin, and to the classiest bunch of day players a director could ever have. Andrew Scott, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, Richard Madden.

An incredible cast. Thank you.’’

The director also heaped praise on his ‘’inspirational’’ wife Alison Balsom, and their two-year-old daughter Phoebe, as well as his 16-year-old son Joe, whom he has with ex-wife Kate Winslet.