BAFTA has moved the dates of its 2021 Film Awards in line with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ decision to shift the Oscars to April.
Next year’s EE British Academy Film Awards will be held on April 11 — exactly two weeks before the Oscars, which will take place on April 25.
“This change from the previously announced date of Feb. 14 acknowledges the impact of the global pandemic and accommodates an extended eligibility period. Further details on the ceremony will be announced later in the year,” said BAFTA in a statement on Monday evening.
More information on eligibility requirements for the awards are to be revealed on Tuesday. As reported by Variety last week, BAFTA has been in discussions around allowing films released digitally without playing theaters to be eligible for the 2021 awards, in line with the AMPAS.
The BAFTA Film Awards precede the Oscars by a number of weeks. This year’s BAFTAs took place on Feb. 2, while the Oscars followed on Feb. 9. In 2019, the BAFTAs fell on Feb. 10, with the Oscars on Feb. 25.
Last week, on the heels of the AMPAS revealing new diversity standards, BAFTA shared that plans were underway to strike a universal set of requirements that can apply to both the Oscars and BAFTA Film Awards.
Marc Samuelson, chair of BAFTA’s film committee, told Variety, “BAFTA has worked for the last three years with the BFI, and has been consulting with AMPAS, with the hope being that between the three organizations, we can create standards that will apply everywhere. It means that all of the various awards can be subject to passing diversity standards. That should in turn galvanize the progress of diversity across the whole industry.”
The British Academy also said on Monday that changes are in store for the date of the 2022 Film Awards, which were announced last year as Feb. 13. This is “currently under consideration” as part of the Awards Review that was set up following this year’s controversial Film Awards nominations.
“Any changes will be published once the review has been completed, alongside other findings and recommendations,” said BAFTA.
BAFTA has said its “root and branch” review of how the Film Awards are voted on in the wake of the 2020 Awards — which saw no people of color nominated in the acting categories and, again, no female helmers getting a nod for best director — will continue in parallel to the consultation with AMPAS on diversity standards.
It’s understood that the review could continue into next year, but will be firmed up in time for the 2021 awards. The awards’ shift from February to April now allows even more time for the review to be completed.
Earlier this year, BAFTA delayed its TV Awards, which were due to take place in May, but were pushed back to July 31. Nominations were revealed earlier this month. The event will take place as a closed-studio, socially-distanced show, with nominees invited to accept their awards virtually.