Since 2003, filmmakers have repeatedly come up short in terms of box office sales and critical support for movies that focus on the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — until director Kathryn Bigelow came on the scene last year with “The Hurt Locker,” that is. While Bigelow’s drama about bomb disposal specialists in Iraq hasn’t exactly pulled in major money, it has captured the attention of critics and earned a slew of accolades, and on Sunday “The Hurt Locker” became a top winner at the British equivalent of the Oscars, the BAFTA Awards, where Bigelow also scored a particularly significant best director win. –KA

“The Envelope” in the Los Angeles Times:

It was a triumphant evening for “Hurt Locker” director Kathryn Bigelow, whose low-budget war drama nabbed six of the eight awards for which it was nominated, and a disappointment for her ex-husband, James Cameron, who looked on stoically as his 3-D extravaganza “Avatar,” which earned him those same top prizes recently at the Golden Globes, managed wins only for visual effects and production design.

Bigelow, the first woman to win for best director here, dedicated her award to “never abandoning the need to find a resolution for peace.” At a news conference afterward, she dismissed any talk of rivalry with Cameron, saying it was “a real honor” to be nominated in his company.

“The Hurt Locker” writer Mark Boal also won for original screenplay. The film is nominated for nine Oscars, including best picture, director, actor and screenplay.

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