BAFTA has formally brought into effect new eligibility requirements aimed at improving the diversity of its film awards.
First announced in 2016 and now confirmed for the 2019 BAFTA awards, the requirements impact two categories going into awards season: outstanding British film and outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer.
All entries into these categories will now be required to meet at least two of the four BFI Diversity Standards, the British Film Institute’s guidance policy for project funding that focuses on underrepresented groups across four areas: on-screen representation, themes and narratives; project leadership and creative practitioners; industry access and opportunities; and opportunities for diversity in audience development.
“I am immensely proud of BAFTA’s commitment to diversity across all its activities which support an open, accessible and inclusive industry,” said Marc Samuelson, chair of BAFTA’s film committee. “By embracing these standards for awards recognition, we can build on the work already being done to improve representation whilst maintaining BAFTA’s standards of excellence for British film.”
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter when the requirement changes were first unveiled, BAFTA said that with most British films receiving funding from the BFI, Film4 or BBC Films, all three of which had signed up to the BFI’s Diversity Standards, the move was a “natural progression.”