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'Billy Elliot' actor wins award

Jamie Bell
Jamie Bell made feature film debut as an aspiring young ballet dancer  

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Teenage actor Jamie Bell has won a major award for his role in the film "Billy Elliot."

The youngster, who played the title role as an aspiring ballet dancer in a tough northern mining town, took the best newcomer title at the Evening Standard Film Awards.

Julie Walters, who played his dance teacher in the film, was named best actress.

"Topsy Turvy," Mike Leigh's period comedy about the birth of Gilbert and Sullivan's "Mikado," was another double winner.

It took the prized best film title, while its star, Jim Broadbent, landed the best actor accolade.

Bell, just 14, has won huge acclaim for his performance in "Billy Elliot." His sensitive portrayal of an adolescent who wins over his disapproving father with his talent earned him best actor nominations for the Baftas and the Screen Actors Guild awards.

He was also best newcomer at the British Independent Film Awards last year for his movie debut as Billy.

Bell picked up his award from Martine McCutcheon, who is soon to star as Eliza Doolittle in a London stage version of "My Fair Lady."

Walters -- also in the running for a Bafta but for best supporting actress -- was recently voted the nation's all-time favourite actress.

The event at London's Savoy Hotel paid tribute to director Peter Yates -- whose work has included the all-action "Bullitt" to the poignant portrait of an aging actor and his assistant in "The Dresser" -- who was given the "special award."

He was chosen for his "extraordinary contribution" to the British movie industry and has worked with such luminaries as Robert Mitchum, Dustin Hoffman and Stanley Baker.

Sir Tom Courtenay -- who played the camp valet in "The Dresser" -- praised the director with a personal address before handing him the award to Yates, who is currently developing a script set in a drying-out clinic.

Also rewarded at the event, hosted by comic Jack Dee, was the animated blockbuster "Chicken Run," which was named best comedy.

Full list of winners:
Best film -- "Topsy-Turvy"
Best actor -- Jim Broadbent ("Topsy-Turvy")
Best actress -- Julie Walters ("Billy Elliot")
Peter Sellers Award for comedy -- Peter Lord/Nick Park ("Chicken Run")
Best Screenplay -- Neil Jordan ("The End Of The Affair")
Evening Standard/Carlton Television award for most promising newcomer -- Jamie Bell ("Billy Elliot")
Technical achievement -- Andrew Saunders ("The Golden Bowl")
Best documentary -- Mark Jonathan Harris for "Into The Arms Of Strangers: Stories of the Kinderstransport"
Special award -- Peter Yates

Jamie Bell -- a 'real-life' Billy Elliot
October 25, 2000
'Billy Elliot' a leaping testimony to human spirit
October 12, 2000
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Billy Elliot -- official site

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4:30pm ET, 4/16

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