Richard Linklater has won the Best Director prize at the British Academy Film Awards for 'Boyhood'.

The 54-year-old director, whose previous work includes 'Dazed and Confused', overcame competition from Wes Anderson ('Grand Budapest Hotel'), Damian Chazelle ('Whiplash'), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu ('Birdman') and James Marsh ('The Theory of Everything') to claim the prestigious award.

The prize was collected on behalf of Linklater by 'Boyhood' star Ethan Hawke, who said: ''I've made eight films with him and he's a great friend. No one loves cinema more than Richard.''

Hawke joked that the director will be annoyed that he didn't attend the event at the Royal Opera House in London to collect the award in person, as he's at the Directors' Guild Awards in Los Angeles.

The actor quipped: ''Like Wes Anderson, he was hijacked at the Director's Guild of America awards and he will be p***** off he's not here tonight.

''The easy part was making the movie, the hard part was giving it to the world.''

'Boyhood' was filmed over the course of 12 years - from 2002 to 2014 - and tells the story of a young boy in Texas who grows up with divorced parents.