"La La Land" also claimed awards for the best original music and cinematography.
BAFTA 2017 Awards Nominations for Best Director are - 1) Damien Chazelle - La La Land 2) Tom Ford - Nocturnal Animals 3) Ken Loach - I, Daniel Blake 4) Kenneth Lonergan - Manchester by the Sea 5) Denis Villeneuve - Arrival.
Director Loach kicked off the night with a highly political acceptance speech, saying, "Thanks to the Academy for endorsing the truth of what the film says. the most vulnerable and the poorest are treated with a callous brutality that is disgraceful".
The ceremony is being presented by long-running host Stephen Fry at London's Royal Albert Hall.
'And in the struggle that's coming between the rich and the powerful, the corporations and the politicians that speak for them, and the rest of us on the other side, the film-makers know which side they're on'. "We are with the people".
Viola Davis, victor of the best supporting actress award, hit out at Trump's post-Golden Globes attack on Meryl Streep.
There are plenty of Brits nominated in the acting categories - including Emily Blunt, Andrew Garfield, Naomie Harris, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Dev Patel.
Turkish troops and Syrian rebels enter ISIL-held town
Turkey's Dogan news agency says 66 Turkish soldiers have been killed in the campaign since it started, mostly in IS attacks. That came after the Kremlin said the airstrikes had been launched based on coordinates provided by the Turkish army.
Lion, which is based on the true story of a lost and adopted boy's search for his real mother, also won best adapted screenplay.
Viola Davis was seen as the favorite to win the best supporting actress BAFTA for "Fences", Denzel Washington's adaptation of August Wilson's stage drama about an African-American family.
Manchester by the Sea has six nominations in total and could potentially take home some of the big prizes - Casey Affleck's performance has already won him several best actor awards this season. "It's huge, I never expected to win, with La La Land dominating the awards talk".
Hollywood stars mingled with British royalty on Sunday at the British Academy Film Awards, where "La La Land" was favored to dance away with multiple trophies.
Apart from this Ryan Gosling-Emma Stone starrer, also leading the nominations are top notch contenders like "Arrival", "Nocturnal Animals".
The Jungle Book won Best Visual FX, and Fantastic Beasts took the production design award.