74th British Academy Film Awards
The 74th British Academy Film Awards, also known as the BAFAs (or BAFTAs), were held on 10 and 11 April 2021 at the Royal Albert Hall in London, honouring the best national and foreign films of 2020 and early 2021. Presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, accolades were handed out for the best feature-length film and documentaries of any nationality that were screened at British cinemas in 2020 and early 2021.
|74th British Academy Film Awards|
|Date||10–11 April 2021|
|Site||Royal Albert Hall, London|
|Hosted by||Clara Amfo (Opening Night) |
Edith Bowman and Dermot O'Leary (Main ceremony)
|Best British Film||Promising Young Woman|
|Best Actor||Anthony Hopkins|
|Best Actress||Frances McDormand|
|Most awards||Nomadland (4)|
|Most nominations||Nomadland and Rocks (7)|
The nominees were announced on 9 March 2021. The American drama Nomadland and British coming-of-age drama Rocks received the most nominations with seven each; the former ultimately won four, including Best Film.
Winners and nomineesEdit
The Owl and the Pussycat – Mole Hill and Laura Duncalf
Rocks – Lucy Pardee
Nomadland – Joshua James Richards
Sound of Metal – Mikkel E.G. Nielsen
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom – Matiki Anoff, Larry M. Cherry, Sergio Lopez-Rivera and Mia Neal
His House – Remi Weekes (Writer/Director)
|Promising Young Woman|
|Calm with Horses|
|Judas and the Black Messiah|
|News of the World|
|Sound of Metal|
|Ma Rainey's Black Bottom|
|The Trial of the Chicago 7|
|Quo Vadis, Aida?|
|The White Tiger|
Both ceremonies were delayed two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, taking place largely virtually, still lining up with the 93rd Academy Awards set to take place on 25 April 2021, two weeks following both British Academy of Film and Television Arts' (BAFTA) ceremonies. Despite its minimal live elements, the ceremonies still featured a red carpet in London and a step and repeat in Los Angeles.
The nominees were significantly more diverse than at any previous BAFTA Awards ceremony. Sixteen of the twenty-four nominees in the acting categories were from ethnic minority backgrounds. Four nominees for Best Director were women and three of the directors of films nominated for Best Film Not in the English Language were also women. The ceremony also introduced a new voting system for nominations after criticism over lack of diversity at the 73rd British Academy Film Awards. In the first round, voters compile a longlist in all categories (with a gender quota in the directing category). It is now compulsory for all voters to watch all long-listed films before the second round. In the second round, the nominees in the directing category and all four acting categories were decided by a small jury.
BBC radio and television presenter Clara Amfo hosted the Opening Night ceremony from the Royal Albert Hall, which aired on 10 April 2021 on BBC Two and BBC Two HD, and was joined by actress and screenwriter Joanna Scanlan, and film critic Rhianna Dhillon. The first ceremony awarded casting, craft, and short film categories, and Best Actor in a Supporting Role nominee Leslie Odom Jr. performed the song "Speak Now" from the film One Night in Miami.... Edith Bowman and Dermot O'Leary hosted the second night of the ceremony, which aired on 11 April 2021 on BBC One and BBC One HD. The co-hosts, who for several years have hosted BAFTA's live red carpet show, were joined by a small group of awards presenters at the Royal Albert Hall, as well as additional presenters via the internet from Los Angeles.
At the 11 April ceremony, the Royal Albert Hall was drenched in red light. Bowman and O'Leary led presentations to the all-virtual nominees, alongside a handful of actors as in-person presenters. The first musical performance of the night was a virtual duet, with two holograms of Liam Payne singing together. Catherine Shoard of The Guardian described the live virtual audience, present to laugh and applaud on cue, as "eerie". Shaord also opined that while the nominees were atypically diverse, including twenty-one first-time acting nominees, the eventual winners were traditional. She also asserted that Nomadland's four wins indicated it as the frontrunner for the upcoming Academy Awards.
Announced on 8 April 2021, both ceremonies had been intended to feature Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, the president of BAFTA. At the opening ceremony, he planned to speak virtually with filmmakers about the hardships of film production during the COVID-19 pandemic and would have presented a video speech about the resilience of the film industry during the 11 April ceremony. However, he pulled out from public engagements due to the death of his grandfather, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on 9 April 2021.
Chloé Zhao became only the second female winner for Best Director (following Kathryn Bigelow in 2010), and the first woman of colour to take the prize; she also shared Best Film with four other producers. Neither Best Actor in a Leading Role winner Anthony Hopkins (for The Father) nor Best Actress in a Leading Role winner Frances McDormand (for Nomadland), who also co-won Best Film, attended the ceremony and were able to be on camera when their wins were announced. At age 83, Hopkins become the oldest Best Actor winner, beating out expected posthumous nominee Chadwick Boseman (for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom); though he was not present when his win was announced, Hopkins did deliver an acceptance speech at the press interviews following the event. Hopkins' last competitive BAFTA win was twenty-seven years earlier (for The Remains of the Day). Another unexpected win was first-time screenwriter and director Emerald Fennell for Best Original Screenplay (for Promising Young Woman). Fennell accepted her award while eating a chocolate BAFTA mask. Other films with high expectations, including The Trial of the Chicago 7, News of the World and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, won zero awards, while Mank only won one (Best Production Design).
Death was a theme among other acceptance speeches; in accepting her Rising Star Award, actress Bukky Bakray paid tribute to rapper DMX, who also died on 9 April 2021, as well as recently-deceased members of her own friends and family, while Thomas Vinterberg, who co-won for Best Film Not in the English Language with Another Round, spoke of his daughter who died during production. South Korean actress Youn Yuh-jung, who won for Best Supporting Actress (for Minari), opened her speech with an address to the British people watching, offering condolences following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh. Youn then lightened the mood by noting that she was surprised and more grateful to win due to the perception of British people as "snobbish". The acceptance speeches of Daniel Kaluuya and Remi Weekes thanked minority voices.
- Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
- Ennio Morricone
- Sir Sean Connery
- George Segal
- Michael Chapman
- Allen Daviau
- Bertrand Tavernier
- Barbara Jefford
- Irrfan Khan
- Nikita Pearl Waligwa
- Pamela Mann-Francis
- Ben Cross
- Sir Ian Holm
- Yaphet Kotto
- Trevor Green
- Frank Pierce
- Cicely Tyson
- Hilary Heath
- Paul Heller
- David Prowse
- Michael Lonsdale
- Dame Barbara Windsor
- Peter Lamont
- Bill Gavin
- Robert Mitchell
- Dame Olivia de Havilland
- Michael Apted
- John Fraser
- Chadwick Boseman
- Joel Schumacher
- Brian Dennehy
- Wilford Brimley
- Sir Alan Parker
- Sue Bruce-Smith
- Arthur Wooster
- Giuseppe Rotunno
- Michael Wolf Snyder
- Max von Sydow
- Rishi Kapoor
- Sir Ronald Harwood
- Kirk Douglas
- Alberto Grimaldi
- Larry McMurtry
- Christopher Plummer
As well as appearing first in the montage, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, royal consort and first president of BAFTA, who died the day before the opening ceremony, was paid tribute in the opening monologues on both nights of the awards. Dame Diana Rigg was omitted from the montage, which sparked complaints and controversy; in response, BAFTA explained that it considered her most prominent in television, and so she would be featured at the next British Academy Television Awards ceremony.
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