Two of the main British Film Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) awards will only be awarded to films which meet diversity targets, the British Film Institute (BFI) has announced.
From 2019 onwards, nominations for the awards of ‘outstanding British film’ and ‘outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer’ will need to conform to the BFI’s Diversity Standards, established two years ago to increase representation of minorities within British film.
The nominations will have to show that they have improved diversity within at least two of four categories to qualify: on-screen characters and themes; senior roles and crew; industry training and career progression; and audience access and appeal to under-represented audiences, the BBC has reported.
In a statement, Bafta said they believed the changes constituted “a flexible and achievable model, which the whole industry can adopt as a shared language for understanding diversity.”
To be able to qualify for award nomination, film-makers will have to demonstrate they have “worked to increase the representation of under-represented groups” in areas including “onscreen representation” and “industry access and opportunities”.
It means popular films such as the James Bond hit Skyfall, which won two Baftas including ‘Best British film’ in 2012, would have likely missed out on that award as it would be unlikely to meet the diversity criteria. The film also won two Oscars and two Grammys.
Simon Albury, the chairman of the Campaign for Broadcasting Equality, said the new rules were “a very positive move” as black and ethnic minorities are under-represented on screen at the moment.
But Conservative MP Philip Davies, an outspoken critic of feminism and political correctness, said that the move would only appeal to “luvvies” in the film industry.
“I am sure that this new criteria will be welcomed by the politically correct, out-of-touch, privileged film industry luvvies who will be patting themselves on the back for being trendy and right on,” he said.
“In the real world the vast majority of people believe in merit and want awards to go to the best films rather than the most politically-correct films.”