The first round of voting forthis year's BAFTAs closes on Wednesday, which will bebefore voters have a chance to watch screeners of one awardsfavourite, Steven Spielberg's Munich.

The decision to send Munich screeners was made before Christmas, and the film's UK distributor, UIP, sent an email to BAFTA voters onDecember 23 that the screeners would be in their hands by January 3. Butscreeners have now been delayed in customs with the holiday backlog and aspokeswoman for the film's BAFTA campaign said that BAFTA voters won't get Munich for another day or two.

"We always knew the Munich screeners were going to be late because the filmdidn't open (in the US) until December 23. There was never any decision notto send out screeners to BAFTA members," said Premier PR's Sara Keene, who ishandling UIP's BAFTA campaigns.

"It should be withpeople for roundtwo voting. We're very optimistic that we'll get throughroundone and everyone will have the screeners in plenty of time to considerit for round-two voting," Keene said. She added that several hundred BAFTA membershad the chance to attend eight preview screenings of the film already. (Munich isn't released in the UK until January 27.)

BAFTA members said they'vegotten a higher number of screeners than in recent years - the count now standsat more than 40 films (including Cinea-encryptedtitles from previously screener-shy Entertainment Film Distributors), comparedto about 15 in 2003 when piracy scares hit the industry, and also more than theestimated 30 received last year.

A BAFTA spokeswoman said shedidn't know how many voters had already cast their votes as of Tuesday morning.Second-round voting opens Friday (January 6) and closes on January 12.Nominations will be announced on January 19, with winners revealed at theFebruary 19 ceremony.