Starting from 2019, films will not be able to be considered for the BAFTA awards unless they demonstrate diversity.
The new criteria, recently announced by the British Academy of Film & Television Arts, will implement new rules for filmmakers hoping to be considered for British awards.
Filmmakers wishing to be considered must demonstrate diversity in at least two of the following four categories: On-screen characters and themes, Senior roles and crew, Industry training and career progression, or audience access and appeal to under-represented audiences.
The areas of “under-representation” covered are “disability, gender, race, age and sexual orientation” – giving a much-needed awareness for LGBT films and characters, female-driven plots and representation of races.
BAFTA explained the new changes:
“Diversity is incredibly important to BAFTA – both in terms of our internal structures as an organisation, but also in the work we do as a charity to develop the film, television and games industries.
“As a champion of creative excellence, we want all talented people to be able to succeed in the industries, regardless of their background.“Following a consultation with the BFI and leading British film producers, we will add the BFI Diversity Standards to the eligibility criteria for the Outstanding British Film and Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer categories from 2019.
“This significant change demonstrates BAFTA’s intention to take a leading role, together with our key partners, in increasing the representation of under-represented groups in front of and behind the camera.
“Under-represented groups in the film industry include people from minority ethnic backgrounds, disabled people, women and LGBT. It also includes people from lower socio-economic groups.
“The BAFTA Film Committee has reviewed the Standards and believes they are a flexible and achievable model, which the whole industry can adopt as a shared language for understanding diversity.
“They also provide a shared framework for measuring diversity so that the industry can track progress over time.”