LONDON — Next year’s BAFTA film awards will take place on Feb. 15, instead of Feb. 8 as originally announced.
The latest date change was forced by the news that the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences has scheduled its nominees’ lunch for Feb. 9 in Los Angeles. That would have made it almost impossible to get any Oscar candidates to attend the British ceremony in London.
“The decision to delay the announced date of our ceremony by a week has been taken with the best interests of the film industry as a whole in mind,” said Duncan Kenworthy, chair of BAFTA’s film committee.
“The Oscar nominees’ lunch is an enjoyable and traditionally well attended occasion, and the close proximity of the two events would have resulted in those nominated by both the British Academy and the American Academy having to choose between the two. We feel that to put nominees in this situation would quite simply be unfair. We hope that this date change will make it more likely that every BAFTA nominee will attend our awards ceremony.
The BAFTA awards had already moved once, from Feb. 22 to Feb. 8, in response the Oscar move to Feb. 29. BAFTA had hoped that the early announcement of this new date would scare other events away from that weekend.
The upside of moving again, to a slot one week later, is that it will give a bit more breathing space in the constricted BAFTA voting timetable.