The British Academy has made a series of changes to the voting rules and eligibility criteria for its 2023 BAFTAs, all part of what it calls a continuing evolution following the major overhaul that followed the 2020 exam.
BAFTA also confirmed the dates for its first long list and nominations announcements, ahead of the February 19 ceremony (moved back earlier in the year from its April date). The long list will be revealed on January 6, 2023, followed by nominations on January 19.
Some of the most notable changes for BAFTA voters have been put in place due to the earlier dates, with fewer films being selected in several categories to ensure people have time to watch them. The long lists for Best Picture and All Craft categories were reduced from 15 to 10 titles; best British film is now 15 instead of 20, and the director category is reduced from 20 to 16 (eight feature films directed by women and eight by men). However, the long lists for the Outstanding Debut, British Shorts and British Animated Shorts categories will remain unchanged at 10, 10 and 6, respectively.
“We’re really excited to be back in February, back to the normality of the season, but we’ve introduced this third [longlist] so there’s a practicality to making sure everyone who votes — be it juries, members, or chapters — has time to consider all of the films,” said Emma Baehr, executive director of the awards. and BAFTA content. The Hollywood Reporter.
Elsewhere, the following rule changes have been made:
- Performance: The top three performances in the four performance categories in the Chapter’s first round of voting will be automatically nominated, up from two in 2022. The jury selection and nomination process remains the same as last year, with the nominating jury selecting the remaining three places on the nominations list (compared to four last year) – the total number of nominations remaining the same at a total of six per category.
- Director: The top two directors (regardless of gender) from the Chapter’s first round of voting will be automatically nominated. The top five female directors and top five male directors will be shortlisted. The pre-selection jury will select the remaining three female and three male directors to create a long list of 16 (equal gender distribution). In the second round, the nominating jury will select four directors to join the two automatically nominated in the first round, creating a nomination list of six.
- Make-up & hairstyle: Candidates eligible for appointment will remain at the head of the department. Additional nominations may be submitted – up to a strict maximum of four nominees.
- Producers: Producers eligible for nomination in the top Outstanding British Film and Film categories are determined by the PGA. From 2023, the PGA will also determine eligible producers in the animated, documentary and non-English language film categories. In these three categories, if the PGA has not determined the eligible producers, the maximum number of eligible producers will remain at one (along with the director), without appeal.
Given the new BAFTA dates for 2023, the eligibility period in which films must be released in UK theaters for the first time, will run from January 1, 2022 to February 17, 2023 for all films, except for those eligible for Documentary and Film which is not in English. These can be published until March 10, 2023 inclusive. While day and date releases are eligible, VOD-only releases, as usual, are not.
BAFTA is also once again insisting that all films be screened on its BAFTA View streaming platform, introduced in 2021 as part of its ambition to give titles an equal chance among voters and to phase out DVDs. Last year, this resulted in Spider-Man: No Coming Home not being eligible, as Sony did not make the film available on BAFTA View.
“I know the studios are committed to BAFTA View,” Baehr said. “It’s mandatory, and it’s part of upgrading the game so that everything is available, including small indie movies.”