Film's stars Keira Knightley and James McAvoy scoop top acting gongs

Atonement was the big winner at the Sony Ericsson Empire Awards 2008 last night.

The romantic epic lost Best Film to The Bourne Ultimatum but was named Best British Film by the movie magazine’s readers.

And its stars Keira Knightley, 22, and James McAvoy, 28, took home the acting gongs to make up for not being nominated at the Oscars.

It was a night of triumph for the Brits all around. Sam Riley, 28, was named Best Newcomer, the Empire Icon prize went to Ewan McGregor, 36, while Shane Meadows, 35, was rewarded for his Outstanding Contribution To British Film.

British films Hot Fuzz, Stardust, 28 Weeks Later and Control also flew the flag at the annual ceremony held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.

Matt Damon, 37, Jonathan Ross, 47, Simon Pegg, 38, Emma Watson, 18, and Agyness Deyn, 25, were just some of the celebs who attended the star-studded event hosted by comedian Rob Brydon, 42.

The event will air on ITV2 tonight.

The full list of Empire Awards 2008 winners:

Best Newcomer
Sam Riley (Control)

Best Comedy
Hot Fuzz

Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Best Horror
28 Weeks Later

Best Thriller
American Gangster

The Sony Ericsson Soundtrack Award

Best British Film

Best Actress
Keira Knightley (Atonement)

Best Actor
James McAvoy (Atonement)

Best Director
David Yates (Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix)

Best Film
The Bourne Ultimatum

Done In 60 Seconds

Empire Inspiration Award
Guillermo Del Toro

Outstanding Contribution To British Film
Shane Meadows

Empire Icon
Ewan McGregor

See the Empire homepage>>

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