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BAFTA Awards bring in changes

BAFTA are launching an overhaul of their film awards to improve diversity.

The organisation have undergone an extensive review of their processes and are now making a reported 120 changes in a bid to see more females and BAME stars recognised at the annual ceremony, as well as people from different economic backgrounds.

According to The Sun newspaper, acting and directing categories will increase their number of nominees – with Outstanding British Film going from six to 10 on the shortlist – and a new longlisting round of voting in all categories will be introduced in order to open up the ballot to a wider range of movies.

Anyone casting a vote will have to undergo mandatory training, and it will become compulsory for all voters, chapters and juries to see every film on the longlists before the second round of voting.

BAFTA chair Krishnendu Majumdar said: "This is a watershed moment for BAFTA. The Academy has never opened itself up like this before.

"The sessions with contributors were tough, chastening, captivating and very moving. Many colleagues from under-represented groups bravely shared their experiences of racism and discrimination in their careers.

"They also shared their ideas and hopes for BAFTA’s future, which we have embraced. There is a real wish and support for BAFTA to continue to be an industry leader on diversity and other issues.

"Representation matters and we’ve all been starkly reminded of this with the rise of the global anti-racist movement.

"This creative renewal is not just about changes to the awards and membership – this is a reappraisal of our values and the culture of BAFTA. We want long term and sustainable change throughout the industry."

Prince William is President of the organisation and has "welcomed" the review undertaken by awards bosses.

Kensington Palace said: "The Duke, as President of BAFTA, welcomes the review as a positive step towards greater diversity in the awards process and across the industry."

At this year’s ceremony, William admitted it wasn’t "right" that the lack of diversity at the event had been raised once again.

He said:"In 2020, and not for the first time in the last few years, we find ourselves talking again about the need to do more to ensure diversity in the sector and in the awards process – that simply cannot be right in this day and age."

The BAFTA Film Awards next take place on 11 April 2021.

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