September 18, 2021

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BAFTA unveils steering group package for Film Awards’ lack of diversity – diversity

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The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BFTA) unveiled a new steering group earlier this year to lead a larger review to increase representation at its film awards, following widespread criticism for its lack of diversity.

The BAFTA Film Awards in February were overshadowed by a huge variety of controversies after no actor of color was included in any major acting category and no woman was nominated in the Best Director category.

In a bid to tackle the issue on Tuesday, the BFTA said Tuesday that the new steering group would “lead a review of the process and conditions that contributed to the lack of diversity in several categories at this year’s British Academy Film Awards.”

The review focuses on the nomination and voting process, the role of distributors, the promotion process, BFTA membership, and finally, “how these processes and conditions can be improved and solutions that can help bring about positive change in a wider industry.”

Preliminary results and recommendations are expected by the end of the summer.

The steering group consists of BAFTA board and committee members, BAFTA staff, expatriate industry personalities, individual advisors and a variety of advocates and academics.

The group will be chaired by BFTA Vice President Krishnendu Majumder. Other members include: Katherine Busby, executive vice president of Tristar Television; Actor, writer, director and producer Noel Clark; Dr. Sadia Habib, Academic and Co-Founder of Resettest; Anna Higgs, Entertainment Media Partner, Northern Europe, on Facebook; Nahrin Kemp, film and TV executive, Film London, who runs the Equal Access Network; Kate Lee, founder and partner of Freud; De Poku, founder and CEO of WIU and founder of The Other Festivals; Ade Rockliff, head of IDV commissioning diversity; Producer Mark Samuelson; They are Sanders, director of studio operations at Sony Interactive Entertainment; Jennifer Smith, head of BFI inclusion; And Sam Tatlow, director of ThinkBigger Talent.

The BFTA said the steering group would conduct a “comprehensive industry consultation” that would support their review process and that they would also review the latest research on systematic issues in the industry.

It will focus on BFTA Film Awards, but will also consider BFTA Television, Television Craft and Games Awards.

Key verified topics include: diversity, under-represented groups, access, fairness and unconscious bias, voting process, campaigning process, amount of entry titles, and access and representation in BAFTA voting membership.

All data collected and the recommendations of the steering group will be reviewed by an independent expert: Professor Doris Ruth Ikhoff, University of Glasgow, who currently leads the daily diversification of the AHRC project in the US screen sector.

For the time being, due to coronavirus restrictions, meetings will be conducted via video conferencing and phone consultation, with multiple industry organizations, firms, industry professionals and advocacy groups already invited to participate, as well as current BAFTA memberships.

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