BAFTA Nominations: Women Shut Out Of Best Director Race – Again


Today’s BAFTA nominations somewhat predictably reinforced the fact that female filmmakers are struggling to get major awards traction this year.

It was another round of shutouts for women in the Best Director field, following the Golden Globes where the exact same quintet of Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Sam Mendes, Bong Joon Ho and Todd Phillips were nominees.

That’s seven years on the spin now that the Brit Academy has failed to nominate a single woman in the category, going all the way back to Kathryn Bigelow in 2013 for The Hurt Locker. In that time, Tarantino, Cuaron, Iñárritu, Chazelle and Scorsese have all scored multiple nominations.

A lack of viable candidates due to the paucity of good opportunities for women in the industry is the fall back counter argument, but Little Women director Greta Gerwig was a strong contender this year and the film was considered good enough to score five nominations, including Adapted Screenplay for Gerwig.

Out of 10 writing nominations across Adapted and Original Screenplay, Gerwig is one of two films written by women to be contending, alongside the Booksmart quartet of Susanna Fogel, Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins and Katie Silberman. That’s an improvement on the Globes, where women were shutout in the writing categories as well.

For Sama director Waad al-Kateab fared a little better, scoring noms in the Outstanding British Film, Outstanding Debut, Documentary and Film Not In The English Language categories for her powerful documentary.

Alongside al-Kateab in Debut is Only You director Harry Wootliff, while The Farewell filmmaker Lulu Wang and Portrait Of A Lady On Fire director Celine Sciamma are both up for Foreign Film (as they were at the Globes), and in the documentary field American Factory co-director Julia Reichert and The Great Hack co-director Jehane Noujaim are both contenders.

Responding to its nominations today, BAFTA highlighted that, across the entire pool, there are 13 female directors nominated compared to eight last year. The organization said it also received more entries from female filmmakers this year, up from 10% to 19%.

There was a notable snub in the acting categories too. Golden Globe Best Actress Drama winner Renee Zellweger is nommed for Judy, and a major contender, but Awkwafina missed out entirely despite winning the Globe in the Best Actress Comedy or Musical category over the weekend. A nomination in the Rising Star BAFTA category for The Farewell, Crazy Rich Asians, Jumanji: The Next Level and Ocean’s Eight actress is likely to be scant consolation.

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