British actress Kate Winslet was named best actress at the BAFTA film awards on Sunday, having been nominated twice for the prize.

The 33-year-old Golden Globe winner took the accolade for her turn in The Reader, Stephen Daldry's controversial drama about a law student who encounters his former lover as she defends herself in a war crimes trial.

While Winslet won the best actress Golden Globe for Revolutionary Road, directed by her husband Sam Mendes, her Bafta triumph for The Reader strengthens her chance of success for the same film at the Oscars later this month.

After a spontaneous speech following her double Golden Globe success, the Titanic actress was more prepared for the Bafta ceremony at London's Royal Opera House.

"To get this award at home, this really means a great deal to me," she told the audience.

"Thank you Bafta. I want to thank everybody involved in the making of this film.

"They all know who they are and they all deserve a big fat piece of this.

She went on to thank her parents and dedicated her win to Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack, both of whom died in the last year.

"You are much missed today, and you will be much missed for years to come," Winslet added.

Danny Boyle, whose film Slumdog Millionaire was the big winner with seven awards, also mentioned both family and film legends in his acceptance speech for best director.

"David Lean said you should announce your ambition for the film in the first five minutes", Boyle explained.

"In that spirit I'd like to announce my ambition for this speech. My father's power went out last night. A big shout out to everyone who helped him run the extension cable in so he could watch this tonight.

"And a big thank you to all the people of Mumbai," Boyle added, in reference to the setting for his Oscar favourite drama.

09/02/2009 00:09:15