The entire BAFTA membership, rather than a jury, will vote to choose the winner of the foreign-language film honor at the British Academy Film Awards for the first time.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts’ new foreign-language chapter of several hundred members will vote to choose five nominees, followed by a vote by the whole membership to pick the winner.
Previously, the whole membership voted to produce a long list and voted again for the five nominees, but the winner was chosen by a jury.
Thanks to the new system, nominees for “film not in the English language” will be announced 10 days earlier than the other BAFTA nods.
That will give the membership a month, from the nomination announcement on Jan. 4 to the final voting deadline on Feb. 4, to catch up with all five of the foreign-language contenders. It means that distribs will have time to lay on screenings and even to send out DVD screeners.
The other categories in which the winner is chosen by membership vote are best film and the four acting prizes.
In the other sections, the membership votes in combination with the chapters for the long lists of 15 and then the five nominees, but the winners are decided either by the chapters or by specialist juries.