BAFTA unveils new diversity requirements for 2019 film awards

Dev Patel
Dev Patel

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced new eligibility standards aimed at promoting diversity at its awards.

The films entering into two British film categories at next year’s EE British Academy Film Awards must meet the new BFI Diversity Standards, the BAFTA said in a statement.

Following consultation with the BFI and a range of industry professionals, all entries into two British film categories Outstanding British Film and Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer will be required to meet at least two of the four BFI Diversity Standards.

The standards focus on under-represented groups across four areas: on-screen representation, themes & narratives; project leadership & creative practitioners; industry access & opportunities; and opportunities for diversity in audience development.

“I am immensely proud of BAFTAs commitment to diversity across all its activities which support an open, accessible and inclusive industry,” Marc Samuelson, chair of BAFTA’s Film Committee, said in the statement.

“By embracing these standards for awards recognition we can build on the work already being done to improve representation, whilst maintaining BAFTAs standards of excellence for British film,” he added.

The BFI Diversity Standards are aimed at encouraging everyone across the film value chain, particularly filmmakers, producers and distributors, to make meaningful changes to their projects to become more inclusive.

From next year, the entries for Outstanding British Film and Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer will be accepted if they can “demonstrate their film has addressed and improved inclusion and representation in at least two of these areas”.

The standards also seek to address under-representation of people from lower socio-economic groups and ensure wide regional participation.