Four women and three foreign language directors have been nominated for this year’s Bafta awards in a list whose scope and inclusion stand in stark contrast to last year’s nominations.
Chloé Zhao, who won the Best Director award at the Golden Globes a fortnight ago, and Lee Isaac Chung, whose Minari won best foreign language film at the same event, will face Shannon Murphy for Babyteeth, Jasmila Žbanić for Quo Vadis Aida ?, Thomas Vinterberg for Another Round and Sarah Gavron for Rocks for Best Director.
While the nominations for the 2020 Baftas, led by Joker, The Irishman and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, did not include nominees of color, this year most of the contenders in all actor categories are not white.
Favorite lead actress Frances McDormand (for Nomadland) is joined by Bukky Bakray for Rocks, Radha Blank for The Forty-Year-Old Version, Vanessa Kirby for Pieces of a Woman, Wunmi Mosaku for His House and Alfre Woodard for Clemency.
The late Chadwick Boseman is in the mix for the lead actor, as is Anthony Hopkins; They are joined by Riz Ahmed for Sound of Metal, Adarsh Gourav for The White Tiger, Mads Mikkelsen for Another Round and Tahar Rahim for The Mauritanian.
In addition to being a director and actress, Nomadland, an elegiac drama about the lives of disenfranchised older Americans living in motorhomes, is nominated for Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing and Sound.
Meanwhile, Rocks, the lively story of five friends in the city center of London, who swept last month’s British Independent Film Awards, is set for an outstanding British film, outstanding debut from a writer, director or producer. British, original screenplay, supporting actress. and casting, as well as director and lead actress.
Directing and the four acting categories have seen their finalist lists expand from five to six in an effort to broaden the range of films held.
This was one of more than 120 changes announced by Bafta last year to urgently address what CEO Amanda Berry called a “hugely disappointing” lack of diversity.
“It is clear that there is much more to do and we plan to redouble our efforts to bring about real change and continue to support and encourage the industry on the urgency of doing much more,” he said at the time.
In addition to adding 500 new names with “a strong focus on recruiting underrepresented groups” to the 6,500 pre-existing members, substantial adjustments were made to the way their shortlist is built.
This meant that in most categories, finalists were narrowed down from a long list decided by 100 relevant chapter members by juries of around 10-12 “industry experts.” These were “produced by Bafta, encompassing a wide range of backgrounds, experiences and ages.”
Some had expressed alarm that Bafta membership was not a prerequisite for being on such a jury, with diversity as the guiding principle. But speaking to The Guardian, Bafta Chairman Krishnendu Majumdar confirmed that all juries included at least 95% Bafta members (50% had been the ideal minimum stipulated in the previous guide).
These juries have long been used to decide the finalists – and winners – of the Outstanding British Film Award, which is still the case. The winners in most categories will continue to be decided by all Bafta voters.
More than 50 films are nominated for awards this year, compared to the 39 mentioned in 2020, an increase in Berry’s credits to new rules that help ensure members actually see the films in dispute, including that it is submitted. each member a random list of 15 movies they owe. sight.
The pandemic also played a role, he said, in that members were encouraged to seek greater depth and breadth of films, allowing new talent to have a chance to be recognized.
“The whole world changed last year and we wanted to take a step forward,” Majumdar said. “People don’t want quotas. They don’t want to be there because they belong to an underrepresented group. They just want a chance to have their work seen. “
Last week, the nominees for the Rising Star award, voted on by the public, were announced as Bukky Bakray, Conrad Khan, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Morfydd Clark and Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù.
The awards themselves will now be presented in two different ceremonies on April 10 and 11, the first for the “artisan” awards and the second will focus on the more conventional categories. Both are advertised as being broadcast virtually from the Royal Albert Hall; Even more details about the exact nature of the ceremony are unknown, but it is believed that Graham Norton will return as host.
• More to follow
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism