The 74h British Academy Film Awards, more commonly known as the BAFTAs, will be held on 11 April 2021 at the Royal Albert Hall in London honouring the best national and foreign films of 2020. A notably diverse list of nominations for the UK’s prestigious BAFTA awards was announced following last year’s controversy over a lack of representation. More than half of the 24 nominees in the acting categories are from ethnic minority backgrounds, including Daniel Kaluuya for “Judas and the Black Messiah” and Bukky Bakray for “Rocks.”
Four women were nominated in the director category, including “Nomadland” director Chloé Zhao — who just a few days ago became the first woman of Asian descent and second woman ever to win the same award at this year’s Golden Globes. Last year, BAFTA bosses acknowledged the infuriating lack of diversity in the 2020 nominations. Every person shortlisted for an acting award in 2020 was White, while the lack of gender diversity among nominees was also stark.
While accepting his award for best leading actor for Joker at the 2020 awards ceremony, Joaquin Phoenix called out the system of oppression in the film industry. He said: “I feel conflicted because so many of my fellow actors that are deserving do not have that same privilege. I think that we send a very clear message to people of colour that you’re not welcome here.”
BAFTA announced some 120 wide-ranging changes to address a lack of diversity in the awards, including changes to its membership and voting process. The changes were hailed as “a watershed moment” in the academy’s history and they came after a seven-month review following the lack of diversity in last year’s nominations. In a first round, voters compiled a long-list in all categories. It is now compulsory for all voters to watch all long-listed films, before the second round. “Nomadland” and “Rocks” received the most nominations this year with seven apiece, while “The Father,” “Mank,” “Minari” and “Promising Young Woman” received six each. TW