BAFTAs barely acknowledge female filmmakers

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced its BAFTA winners February 18 at the Royal Albert Hall in London, with very little recognition for female nominees in major categories. I Am Not a Witch writer-director Rungango Nyani (above, with producer Emily Morgan) is the only woman winner recognized outside of the acting categories, for outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer. She was nominated alongside Lady Macbeth writer Alice Birch and Kingdom of Us director Lucy Cohen.

Original and adapted screenplay awards were given to James Ivory and Martin McDonagh for Call Me By Your Name and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (which also won for best film, outstanding British film, leading actress for Frances McDormand and supporting actor for Sam Rockwell). Guillermo del Toro was named best director in the all-male category.

The lack of female winners can be attributed to a low number of female nominees. The BAFTA categories that did recognize women this year often had only one female nominee: The Shape of Water co-writer Vanessa Taylor is the only female screenwriter credited on the movies nominated for best film; Greta Gerwig is the only other woman nominated in both adapted and original screenwriting categories; co-director Bonni Cohen is the only female director nominated for best documentary (awarded to I Am Not Your Negro).

Angelina Jolie’s First They Killed My Father was the only nominated foreign language film with a female director. The winner of the category was The Handmaiden, co-written by Seo-kyeong Jeong. Even the acting categories were dominated by films with male creators. 20 actors were nominated for leading and supporting roles, but only four of the performers were recognized for films written or directed by women – Laurie Metcalf and Saoirse Ronan for Lady Bird and Octavia Spencer and Sally Hawkins for The Shape of Water.

Winners for short film, animated feature and technical categories like sound, visual effects and cinematography were all men.

BAFTA is “a world-leading independent arts charity” that offers scholarships, workshops and masterclasses. Many attendees wore black on the ceremony’s preceding red carpet in salute to the #MeToo movement in support of sexual assault survivors.

© Georgiana E. Presecky (2/19/18) FF2 Media


Top Photo: Rungano Nyoni and Emily Morgan won Outstanding Debut by A British Writer, Director or Producer for I Am Not A Witch at the British Academy of Film and Television Awards February 18.

Bottom Photo: In one of the more heartwarming moments of the evening, Rising Star nominee Timothee Chalamet helps 89-year-old Call Me By Your Name screenwriter James Ivory to the stage to accept the BAFTA for best adapted screenplay.

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