BAFTA Prepares for First Film Awards Since Major Diversity Review

As BAFTA prepares for its first Movie Awards since concluding its sweeping range assessment final fall, the group is rolling out “aware voter” coaching forward of its first spherical of voting.

Voting in spherical 1 begins Jan. 12 and closes Jan. 26, and might be adopted by an inaugural longlist of all classes set to be revealed Feb. 4. The initiative varieties a part of a concerted drive in direction of a extra clear awards season.

BAFTA unveiled the results of its diversity review in September to encouragement from the business, which welcomed lots of the 120-plus adjustments. Amongst them was the aforementioned longlisting spherical throughout all classes that goals to stage the enjoying subject in performing and directing, particularly; an growth of the excellent British movie class to 10 nominations; and the introduction of 1,000 new members from underrepresented teams.

BAFTA has acquired 258 movie entries this yr — simply slightly below the 269 entries in 2020, which was a document yr. Chair Krishnendu Majumdar calls the quantity of entries “actually optimistic” given many within the business speculated a “massive drop-off” as a consequence of COVID-19. General, entries have been on an upward trajectory within the final 4 years: in 2019, the Academy acquired 231 entries, which was a pleasant increase from 218 in 2018.

This yr, movies that acquired theatrical releases or meant to display theatrically however whose plans have been scuppered by the pandemic, all certified for awards consideration. Movies that had streaming releases with a significant streamer additionally certified.

“We’ve been versatile with the dates as a result of we’ve gone from lockdown to cinemas being open, to lockdown, to cinemas opening once more, to lockdown,” says Movie Committee chair Marc Samuelson of the U.Ok.’s third nationwide lockdown in below a yr.

“Distributors have had to deal with that. There have been plans that then needed to change. However, primarily, what we now have qualifying are movies that might have certified in a standard yr.”

This week, three quick “aware voter” movies will roll out, geared toward educating members about illustration on display, and reminding them of the context surrounding the movies they’re screening. The movies — which can be found to observe as soon as voting has begun — have been made in session with range and inclusion skilled Huma Qazi, and have senior BAFTA members together with Duncan Kenworthy, Lennie James, Jo Hartley and Gemma Arterton.

“We’re attempting to get individuals to suppose extra consciously about voting. To have individuals like Duncan Kenworthy saying that everybody’s particular person vote is essential, and to attempt to be free of out of doors influences [goes a long way],” says Majumdar, who highlights that awards season protection within the commerce press and high contenders lists could be distracting to voters.

This yr, members are additionally required to observe 15 randomly chosen movies as a way to vote in spherical 2 — a directive the chair says “has gone down rather well.”

“Persons are saying they’re watching issues they haven’t accomplished earlier than,” he notes. “This manner, every movie needs to be watched a minimum of 350-400 occasions should you work out the numbers, which is wonderful as a result of the entire level of the assessment was to stage the enjoying subject and ensure extra work is watched, judged and evaluated.”

The org has thus far had 80,000 streams on BAFTA View, the inner platform utilized by members to display movies —4 occasions greater than final yr’s engagement.

Whereas there have been hopes the BAFTA Film Awards might happen as a bodily occasion in April, the jury’s nonetheless out on how they’ll materialize.

“We’re working via numerous situations,” says Samuelson, who notes that “all situations” can be found, “from a fairly massive in-person occasion as a result of [the situation improves], all the best way right down to a smaller in-person occasion, all the best way right down to an occasion that doesn’t have any viewers. We’re persevering with to plan for all eventualities and serious about it.”

The U.Ok. is below lockdown and is predicted to stay so till a minimum of March. England chief medical officer professor Chris Whitty mentioned on Monday that the “worst weeks of the pandemic” are forward earlier than COVID-19 ranges enhance.

BAFTA, in fact, is not any stranger to hybrid occasions in pandemic occasions, given the success of the Craft and TV Awards final summer season, each of which broadcast from a closed studio with winners accepting awards just about.

Key dates for 2021 BAFTA Movie Awards:

Tuesday, Jan. 12 — Spherical One voting opens at 10:00
Monday, Jan. 25 — Deadline for entrants to withdraw movies
Tuesday, Jan. 26 — Spherical One voting closes at 18:00 / Deadline for SVFX reels
Thursday, Feb. 4 — Longlists announcement
Friday, Feb. 19 — Spherical Two voting opens at 10:00
Monday, March 1 — Spherical Two voting closes
Tuesday, March 9 — Nominations announcement
Thursday, March 25 — Spherical Three voting opens at 10:00
Wednesday, April 7 — Spherical Three voting closes at 18:00
Friday, April 9 — Entered movies to have been screened to the general public by this date (aside from Movies Not In The English Language (FNIEL) and Documentaries, which have to be screened to the general public by Friday, April 30)
Sunday, April 11 — EE British Academy Movie Awards

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