- Associated Press - Sunday, February 10, 2013

LONDON (AP) — Ben Affleck on Sunday won the best-director prize at the British Academy Film Awards for the Iran-hostage drama “Argo.”

Emmanuelle Riva, the 85-year-old French film legend, was named best actress for “Amour.”

The directing win gives Mr. Affleck’s crowd-pleaser more momentum heading into the Hollywood Oscars on Feb. 24.

The British Academy Film Awards, known as BAFTAs, are ever-more scrutinized as an indicator of likely success at the Hollywood Academy Awards. In recent years they have prefigured Academy Awards triumph for word-of-mouth hits including “Slumdog Millionaire,” ”The King’s Speech” and “The Artist.”