The British Independent Film Award is making some changes for its 25th anniversary, going gender-neutral with its acting categories, as it also adds new performance awards, a new first director category for feature-length documentaries, and two new music awards.
By removing the “actress” and “actor” honors, BIFA joins other organizations that have recently made the switch, including the Berlin Film Festival, the MTV Movie Awards and the BRITs.
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BIFA says it will now present five acting awards: Best Lead Performance, Best Supporting Performance, Best Joint Lead Performance – for two (or exceptionally three) performances that are central to a film – and Best Ensemble. The Breakthrough Performance award established by BIFA (which was already not genre-specific) remains unchanged.
The Lead and Supporting Performance categories will have up to 10 nominees each, while the Joint Lead Performance and Ensemble races will feature up to five.
Additionally, BIFA is adding a Best First Director – Feature Documentary category, alongside the Douglas Hickox Award for Best First Director. The latter will now be reserved for fiction feature films. The Best Music award, which previously recognized both Original Composition and Music Supervision, will be split into Best Original Music and Best Music Supervision.
BIFA Directors Amy Gustin and Deena Wallace commented: “We are delighted to be able to launch BIFA’s new and expanded awards categories, which will more fully capture the range of outstanding performance and acting talent in British independent film. and will allow us to celebrate even more talent. than ever before.”
The 2022 nominations will be announced on November 3 and the ceremony will take place on December 4.
BIFA also welcomed new members to its board, including award-winning producer and local team leader, Dominic Buchanan; Carmen Thompson, cultural curator for We Are Parable and producer at Aya Films; and Tim Platt, Head of Marketing and Audience Growth at the British Film Institute.
New dates for the BIFA Equality, Diversity and Inclusion training, from July to January 2023, are confirmed. The training program includes courses on anti-bullying and harassment, fair workplace recruitment, and unconscious bias. It is supported by the ScreenSkills’ Film Skills Fund with contributions from UK film production. Also new for 2022 is virtual production budgeting and planning in partnership with Treehouse Digital backed by ScreenSkills as part of the BFI Future Film Skills program using funds from the National Lottery.
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