Drama film Nomadland won four awards at the British Academy Film (BAFTA) Awards on Sunday. It was the most of any film at this year’s ceremony. Nomadland received the honours for Best Film, Best Direction, Best Actress in a Leading Role, and Best Cinematography.
Due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s award ceremony was primarily held remotely. It was held at Royal Albert Hall in London. All awards were presented on stage before an empty auditorium. Award winners made their acceptance speeches via video calls.
The complexities of holding this major event required the ceremony to run over two days. The awards included technical and non-technical awards. Recipients of technical awards accepted them on Saturday.
Chloé Zhao’s Comments
During her acceptance speech for the Best Direction award, Nomadland director Chloé Zhao recognized the contributions of the nomadic community to her film. “We would like to dedicate this award to the nomadic community who so generously welcomed us into their lives,” she said.
“Thank you for showing us that aging is a beautiful part of life, a journey that we should all cherish and celebrate. How we treat our elders says a lot about who we are as a society and we need to do better,” Zhao added.
In subsequent comments to the media, Zhao mentioned the recent surge in success enjoyed by women directors. On this topic, she said, “It’s about time, it’s great. I love doing what I do and if this means more people like me get to live their dreams, I’m very grateful”.
Changes to the Awards
This year, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) chose to emphasize the work of women directors. Among the ways in which women directors were prioritized included the imposition of gender quotas in the Best Direction category as well as a requirement for all voters to watch all long-listed films in their entirety.
The changes came as a response to severe backlash from the public after last year’s awards. The Best Direction shortlist in 2020 did not include any women directors. In addition, every shortlisted nominee was white. Commenting on the changes, BAFTA chairman and television producer Krishnendu Majumdar said, “We brought in changes to the awards to level the playing field.”
Partially due to these changes, Nomadland was not the only movie directed by a woman to enjoy much success at the BAFTA Awards. Promising Young Woman, directed by Emerald Fennell, received the awards for Best Original Screenplay and Outstanding British Film.
In a press conference after the ceremony, Fennell said, “This is just unbelievable and so thrilling. I feel quite overwhelmed because I just feel so proud of everyone who worked on this film and so grateful to them.”
12th April 2021 15:14
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