Dame Helen Mirren has added the best actress Bafta to her long list of awards for The Queen, which was also named best film at the London ceremony.
The Last King of Scotland won three honours, including best British film and best actor for Forest Whitaker's portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin.
British film-maker Paul Greengrass was named best director for United 93.
Low-budget comedy Little Miss Sunshine took awards for original screenplay and Alan Arkin's supporting performance.
Dame Helen's numerous awards for The Queen include the best actress Golden Globe and have made her favourite to win the Oscar in two weeks' time.
The film, in which she plays Queen Elizabeth II during the days after Princess Diana's death, led the Baftas field with 10 nominations.
The actress broke down in tears at the end of her acceptance speech as she paid tribute to actor Ian Richardson, who died suddenly last week.
Dame Helen said Richardson had been a mentor to her, adding: "Ian Richardson, I'm not too sure I would be here today if it wasn't for you."
Dame Judi Dench, nominated in the best actress category for Notes on a Scandal, had earlier predicted the result: "There's no chance of me winning this evening - I'm a betting woman so I'll put money on Helen."
The latest James Bond film, Casino Royale, returned just one award from nine nominations - for best sound.
Daniel Craig, the sixth actor to play 007 in an official Bond film, had been nominated for the best actor Bafta.
"Win or lose, it's going to be a good night," he said ahead of the event.
Film critic Mark Kermode said that securing a nomination in the role had been a significant achievement.
"It is one of those roles that is generally thought of as not an actorly pursuit," he said.
"What Daniel Craig has done is demonstrate that you can play that role in a really thespian manner."
French actress Eva Green, who played love interest Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale, won the Orange rising star award voted for by the British public.
"It's a real honour because I'm French and it's an English award. I have just moved here and have had the most amazing welcome," she said.
Whitaker, who has also won Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards for The Last King of Scotland, said: "This means a lot because to be embraced by another shore is a special thing.
"I try to think of myself as a citizen of the planet," he added.
Hudson has won numerous awards for her first film role
Greengrass's United 93 depicts one of the 11 September 2001 plane hijackings.
Accepting his award, the film-maker said: "I firmly believe that cinema must deal with the way the world is and the dangers there are. We need it very much now."
The Spanish-language dark fairytale Pan's Labyrinth won three Baftas including the award for best foreign language film.
Former US reality TV show contestant Jennifer Hudson added the best supporting actress prize to her considerable collection for her performance in the musical Dreamgirls.
Peter Morgan and Jeremy Brock's script for The Last King of Scotland won the best adapted screenplay honour.
The award for special achievement by a British director in their first feature film went to Andrea Arnold for the Glasgow-set drama Red Road.
The best animated feature film Bafta was awarded to Happy Feet.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts was celebrating its 60th anniversary, after handing out its first prize for achievement in film in 1947.
The awards have grown in prominence since 2001, when the ceremony was rescheduled to take place before the Oscars.
Daniel Craig failed to win the best actor category for his role as Bond
BBC presenter Jonathan Ross hosted the event for the first time, after a six-year stint by the actor and writer Stephen Fry.
The first hour - broadcast on BBC One - was watched by an average of 3.9 million viewers in the UK, with half a million fewer people tuning in for the second hour, overnight estimates suggest.
However, the ceremony was beaten in the ratings by the ITV1 drama Foyle's War with an audience 7.6 million, and Channel 4's film The Day After Tomorrow, which averaged four million viewers.