New eligibility requirements for the BAFTA Film Awards are formally coming into effect. These concern the British film categories at the EE British Academy Film Awards in 2019 and going forward.
All entries into two British film categories: Outstanding British Film and Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer, will be required to meet at least two of the four BFI Diversity Standards.
Those standards are a framework for measuring inclusion and representation. According to a statement, they “encourage everyone across the film value chain, particularly filmmakers, producers, and distributors, to make meaningful changes to their projects to become more inclusive and as a result opening up more opportunities for people from all walks of life to watch and make films.”
The standards focus on under-represented groups across four areas: on-screen representation, themes & narratives; project leadership & creative practitioners; industry access & opportunities; and opportunities for diversity in audience development.
From 2019, entries for Outstanding British Film and Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer will be accepted if they can demonstrate their film has addressed and improved inclusion and representation in at least two of those areas.
Basically, your film is only be nominated based on how progressive the content is. The quality of your project will no longer decide if it is award considerable but the deciding factor will be how diverse your cast and crew is and how well it covers progressive issues in your film. This is how we get films like Moonlight and Call Me by Your Name that is greatly appealing to the industry but not for general audiences and this rule change encourages more films like that to be made.
This story can be best summed up by a user who makes the following comment “In my opinion, the Award lost it’s purpose if they nominating based on diversity requirements, rather than actual talent.”