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Affleck named best director at Britain's Oscars

George Clooney, left, and Ben Affleck arrive for the BAFTA Film Awards at the Royal Opera House on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, in London. (Photo by Ki Price/Invision/AP)George Clooney, left, and Ben Affleck arrive for the BAFTA Film Awards at the Royal Opera House on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, in London. (Photo by Ki Price/Invision/AP)

LONDON (AP) — Ben Affleck has won the best-director prize at the British Academy Film Awards for his Iran-hostage drama "Argo."

Laura Whitmore arrives for the BAFTA Film Awards at the Royal Opera House on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, in London. (Photo by Jonathan Short/Invision/AP))Laura Whitmore arrives for the BAFTA Film Awards at the Royal Opera House on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, in London. (Photo by Jonathan Short/Invision/AP))

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

The directing win gives 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."