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6th April 2020
BAFTA Games 2020 Ceremony & Red Carpet Wrap-Up
[Including Transcripts of All Video Interviews] UPDATED!

Last week, the BAFTA Games 2020 winners were announced in a special broadcast hosted by comedian, Dara Ó Briain

While originally planned to include a red carpet event at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London’s Southbank, the awards ceremony was switched to a digital-only event following government advice. While COVID-19 concerns closed the physical ceremony, the organisation announced a replacement digital event to celebrate this year's winners.

This year saw Control tie with Death Stranding for eleven nominations each. Nine of the nominations, for both games, were for the game design with an additional two for actor performances.

Control entered the evening with a historic nomination total; Animation, Artistic Achievement, Audio Achievement, Best Game, Game Design, Music, Narrative, Original Property, and Technical Achievement. Courtney Hope received a nomination in the "Performer in a Leading Role" with Jesse Faden. And Finland's own, Martti Suosalo was nominated for "Performer in a Supporting Role" with his portrayal of Ahti the Janitor.

So, we were very excited to tune in! Here's what happened!

Red Carpet Interview with Courtney Hope: 

Prior to the event, Elle Osili-Wood took to the virtual red carpet to interview game developers and actors about their BAFTA nomination. In keeping with the night, and staying with government advice, all of the interviews were done online. Starting the night, Elle spoke to Courtney Hope, the lead actor for Control whose performance was nominated for a BAFTA award.

Elle Osili-Wood [Elle]: Now, my next guest here on the BAFTA Games red carpet is none other than Courtney Hope, the actor and voice performer behind lead character, Jesse in Control. I'm very excited to have you here!

Courtney Hope [Courtney]: I am super excited to be here! 

Elle: Well, I mean, Control, what an incredible game? And Jesse, what an incredibly nuanced, complex character and you definitely brought her to life. So what was she like to play?

Courtney: She's super fun. I feel like I learned a lot from Jesse. She, y'know, she came from his background of being super street smart, and then was, like, thrusted into this leadership position and I feel like there's so much to learn from that and I really enjoyed, like, diving deep within the depths of her soul and her emotional state and, kind of, growing with her, you know? Learning how to be that leader from- which I feel like we all have that capability of doing, so that was really, really, really cool to be able to do that. And she's just awesome in general. So, yeah, she's super cool. *laughs*

Elle: Yeah, she definitely is! I mean, she's an amazing character, I bet it felt incredible to not only return to Remedy but play somebody like that?

Courtney: Oh, absolutely! I mean, y'know, I feel like not only is she a strong woman, she's a strong person. I feel like that's just really cool to be able to immerse myself in someone that is broken, in a lot of ways; she doesn't come from this privileged world or society and finding how she can find her own strengths and find her own flaws and make them into her- what makes her a great Director. What makes her very empathetic. What makes her want to fight for the truth. So that was a blast; searching for those things. 

Elle: What made you want to work with Remedy again because obviously, we've seen your work with them before?

Courtney: Oh, I love Remedy. Everybody over there is amazing and they're so fun and they're such great people, and they're very creative and I really appreciate that. They take their work very seriously, but they don't take life too seriously, and I feel like that's a really great combination. They're just fun to work with, but I know whatever we're going to get is going to be gold. 

Elle: Well, it definitely was gold because you've got a BAFTA nomination. So how did it feel when you found out?

Courtney: I was mind-blown. I mean, what a crazy- especially, like, there are so many things here; the Emmys, the Oscars, and just to have that... totally for me, came out of left field but I could not be more honoured. I mean, it's something that I don't think I ever dreamed of. So just to be nominated is honestly one of the coolest things, and today, for me, it's one of the coolest things that's happened. So I am so honoured. 

Elle: That's what we like to hear! I'm so happy that you're that excited, and again, thrilled that we could have you here on the red carpet as we're all in lockdown, so how have you been spending your time?

Courtney: I've been trying to be as creative as possible honestly, you know? I have really been trying to just do the things that I said I was going to do for a really long time, y'know, like clean our house, and be organised, and also I've been doing a lot of Zoom messaging with my family all around the country which, you know it's crazy because it's always been there, it's always been available for us to use, and so that's been really fun, to connect with them who I only see sometimes once a year, maybe every other year, so that's been really cool too. To find different ways to connect with people. 

Elle: Well before I go, I know that the internet will kill me if I do not enquire about the adorable dog behind you. *laughs*

Courtney: *Laughs* Hey Phoebe. This is my girl, Phoebe. She is eleven and she was my first dog ever. So she's attached to me at the hip, she's my girl. She goes [distorted] near my face, so thank you for being on the- first red carpet! 

Elle: Exactly! That's literally what I was about to say! I think that's probably, I think I'm going out go out on a limb and say probably the first dog on a BAFTA red carpet, so....*Laughs*

Courtney: *Turns to dog* Good job! Yeah! [Distorted] Thanks for having [us]. 

Elle: She's absolutely adorable. I'm so glad that she snuck into shot, and I'm absolutely thrilled that we got a chance to chat to you today because your performance was just magnetic. I absolutely adored it, so thank you for joining us. 

Courtney: Thank you so much, this has been really wonderful!

Red Carpet Interview with Juha Vainio and Thomas Puha

Elle Osili-Wood also spoke with Juha Vainio (Executive Producer on Control) and Thomas Puha (Communications Director at Remedy) to talk about the studio's reaction to their eleven nominations and what's in store later this year.

Elle Osili-Wood [Elle]: Well. I am thrilled to have our next guests here on our virtual red carpet with me today. I have got Executive Producer, Juha Vainio and Communications Director, Thomas Puha, from Remedy; the studio behind the incredible, Control. Thank you so much for joining me today.

Juha Vainio [Juha]: Thank you for having us. 

Thomas Puha [Thomas]: Thank you! 

Elle: Now, obviously, you've come here today with a record-equaling eleven nominations, so tell me how does that feel? 

Juha: Well, it feels totally incredible. It's like, I remember when we were at the date of the nominations and the whole studio was watching the Twitter feed and the nominations started dropping, and there was one, and then there was two and then there was three, four, blah, blah, blah, blah.... And then it was eleven. It turned out that all the categories, we submitted for, we were nominated in. And that was like... the whole studio was crazy, it was awesome. 

Thomas: How many was it again, Juha? I didn't quite catch that. *laughs*

Juha: Eleven. *Laughs*

Thomas: *Laughs* Eleven. Eleven. 

Elle: It will come up on the screen as well, so we make sure that everybody knows eleven. I don't think anybody would say that it was not entirely deserved. This was an absolutely stunning title, and of course, we expected no less. So I guess, Thomas, one of the things I'm interested in is how you've managed to create something that feels so innovative and so exciting and yet still honours that Remedy legacy. It still feels like a Remedy title. 

Thomas: That's a great, great question. When we- we did a lot of, kind of, soul searching as we started making the game, and we wanted to stay true to some of the Remedy principles, y'know, how we create the world and the storytelling, but at the same time we really, kind of, wanted to take a very progressive step forward, especially on the gameplay front; challenge ourselves. And I think we succeeded in that, it was, as all of these games are, it's a big team- team effort. And, of course, a big shoutout to 505Games for also taking the risk with us and publishing the game. It's been- it's been awesome to see the response, and it gives us a lot of belief that when we try to shake things up a big, and head towards a certain new direction with our games that that definitely resonated well with the audience. 

Elle: I mean, it definitely resonated. So, sorry, was it eleven nominations again?

Thomas: I believe eleven!

Juha: Eleven. I think eleven.

Elle: Who are you excited to be up alongside, because obviously, you're one of our big hitters this year, but who else is up on that list that you thought "wow, can't believe Control is next to that title"?

Juha: Well, obviously Death Stranding has been my game of the year, so sharing the eleven nominations with them is like another unbelievable thing that has happened with these nominations. So, it's totally crazy! 

Elle: Aww, that was a very sweet answer, I like it! We've also had a little bit of support from the creator of Baba Is You who is very excited to have another Finnish studio up there, so I have to say; Finland is kind of hitting it out of the park this year, it's safe to say! 

Thomas: It's just nice to see this whole spectrum of games that come from Finland, really diverse, whether it's the more sort of triple-AAA that we do, and then there's mobile, and a lot more smaller teams making really innovative games. To us, it's just great that there's a strong showing from Finland for sure

Elle: I love it! Well, I guess I have to ask because we're all desperate to know, what's next for Remedy?

Thomas: Where do we start? Well, we've just released the first expansion to Control, The Foundation, so Juha has been stressing away with that. Reception has been great. We've got another Control expansion coming end of the Summer, and then we've just recently announced that we're working on two unannounced games with Epic Games publishing at Remedy, so we're definitely not going to be any less busy. We definitely want to be putting out more games, ideally, some sort of Remedy product every year, instead of taking these seven-year breaks to make a game. Not "breaks" but- none of us are getting any younger, so let's get these ideas out there, y'know. 

Elle: I'm very happy to hear that, I'm all for a new Remedy game every year, so thank you so much, you've totally made my day. 

Thomas: Now that I've said it, now we really have to do it.

Elle: Exactly! We've got it here, we've got it forever now. You've said it. 

Juha: Damn you, Thomas! 

Thomas: Yeah, sorry Juha! I know, he's just sitting there letting you do all the work. I've really enjoyed chatting to you, thank you so much, I adored Control, and so I'm thrilled to be able to chat to you. I was going to say "good luck" but I guess it's going to be nerve-wracking as you go through all of your eleven nominations, so I hope you make it through the evening still sane and happy by the end of it.

Juha: Yeah, we hope so too! *Laughs*

Elle: Thanks very much!

Juha: Thank you! 

BAFTA 2020 Livestream: 

In a pre-recorded video, Dara O'Brien introduced the games that stole the BAFTA's attention this past year, and the categories they were nominated in.

Control headed into the evening with an incredible eleven nominations, tying with Death Stranding, on the most-nominations ever given by BAFTA. The competition was incredibly tough this year with heavy hitters from indie developers such as ZA/UM's Disco Elysium, Mobilus Digital's Outer Wilds, DONTNOD's Life is Strange 2, and so many more. You can watch the full live stream below:

Martti Suosalo's BAFTA Acceptance Speech

While the list of winners wasn't announced ahead of time to the studios, acceptance speeches were recorded in advanced to be played in the event of the win which led to this incredibly endearing video from Martti Suosalo who portrayed Ahti the Janitor, and who brought home a BAFTA trophy for Control.

"Good evening! My name is Martti Suosalo, I'm an actor from Finland. I made this video in case I win this prize. So if you see this video, I'm the winner! It's a big, big honour to me, to have this prize. So thank you, BAFTA. Thank you, Remedy. Thank you all the players, all the world. And I also thank my family because when Jani Savolainen from Remedy called me and asked me to do this role, Ahti, I went home and asked my family, 'should I take this role?' So my children asked me, 'what kind of role is it? Is it a TV? Theatre? Circus?' 'Oh, no, no. It's a video game role made by Remedy company.' 'Of course you take it! Are you an idiot?' So who wants to be an idiot? So here we are! Thank you! Bye bye."

Live Studio Version of Sankarin Tango

Following the event, to celebrate Martti Suosalo's win at the BAFTAs, Remedy and 505Games uploaded a video of a live studio version of Sankarin Tango, the Finnish song that he performs in Control.


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