BAFTA Film Awards postponed until April

The 2021 BAFTA Film Awards have been postponed by two months from February to April. On Monday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organisation behind the Oscars, announced that the 93rd Academy Awards, which were scheduled to take pl…

The 2021 BAFTA Film Awards have been postponed by two months from February to April.

On Monday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organisation behind the Oscars, announced that the 93rd Academy Awards, which were scheduled to take place on 28 February 2021, were being pushed back to 25 April as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Shortly afterwards, a representative for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) confirmed their annual film awards would be postponed by two months too, so it can remain in its usual position as the last big movie prizegiving before the Oscars.

The BAFTA Film Awards, which were due to be held in London on 14 February, will now take place on 11 April, exactly two weeks before the Oscars.

“This change from the previously announced date of Feb. 14 acknowledges the impact of the global pandemic and accommodates an extended eligibility period. Further details on the ceremony will be announced later in the year,” a BAFTA representative said in a statement on Monday evening.

Further details about the eligibility requirements will be revealed in due course. It has been speculated that it will follow in the Academy’s footsteps and allow films that were released digitally to eligible for the 2021 awards only. The Academy has also extended their eligibility window beyond the 2020 calendar year and will consider films released up until 28 February 2021.

It is widely expected that the organisers of the other major movie ceremonies – the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards – will follow suit and reschedule their events accordingly, so they can maintain the usual order.

© Cover Media

Paul Rudd still feels like an ‘imposter’ in Hollywood

Paul Rudd sometimes feels like he’s an “imposter” in the acting industry and not as talented as his co-stars. The actor made his movie debut in 1995 teen classic Clueless, and throughout his 25-year career, he has starred in films such as Romeo + Juli…

Paul Rudd sometimes feels like he’s an “imposter” in the acting industry and not as talented as his co-stars.

The actor made his movie debut in 1995 teen classic Clueless, and throughout his 25-year career, he has starred in films such as Romeo + Juliet, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Role Models, Ant-Man, and the most recent Avengers instalments.

Despite having a long and successful career, Rudd has admitted he still feels like he’s not as good as his colleagues.

“I still have that feeling – ‘I’m an imposter, I’m not as good as the people I’m working with,’ or I feel I just don’t have it,” he confessed to British actor Abubakar Salim as part of the BAFTA Breakthrough mentoring scheme, according to Yahoo!

However, Rudd explained that he feels more comfortable if he has written or produced the project, or if he is working with actors he’s collaborated with before.

“I feel like with that stuff it gets a little easier; if I’ve worked on the script it’s a little easier because I know it more and I’ve worked on it from the ground up so I think maybe I feel a little bit more comfortable,” the 51-year-old continued. “I’ve also been lucky too to work with some of the same people and, if I work with people I’ve worked with more than once and we are all on the same page, those experiences I think I probably feel a little less stressed.”

The Captain America: Civil War star will next be seen in cinemas in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. The feature was originally meant to be released in July but will now come out in March 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

© Cover Media

BAFTA unveils steering group to address lack of diversity at film awards

BAFTA executives have created a steering group to help address the lack of diversity at the British Academy Film Awards. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) came under fire earlier this year when no people of colour were nominated …

BAFTA executives have created a steering group to help address the lack of diversity at the British Academy Film Awards.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) came under fire earlier this year when no people of colour were nominated in the acting categories and no women were nominated for Best Director at the 2020 awards, which were held in February.

BAFTA officials later admitted they were disappointed with the lack of diversity and would be conducting a thorough review in response, and on Tuesday, they announced that they have formed a steering group to conduct a major review to help improve representation in its film awards, with the 12-member group comprising a range of BAFTA board and committee members, BAFTA staff, external industry figures, independent advisors, and leading diversity advocates and academics.

Notable members include actor/director Noel Clarke, producer Marc Samuelson, and BAFTA deputy chair Krishnendu Majumdar.

“BAFTA is committed to driving positive change in the entertainment industry and is constantly reviewing its policies across membership, nominations and voting processes to ensure these are fit for purpose,” BAFTA representatives wrote in a press release.

“The review will cover the nominations and voting process, the role of distributors, the campaigning process, and the makeup of BAFTA’s membership and ultimately how these processes and conditions might be improved with solutions can help drive positive change in the wider industry. It will focus on BAFTA’s Film Awards, but will also take into account the BAFTA Television, Television Craft and Games Awards.”

The members will examine issues such as diversity, under-represented groups, access, fairness, unconscious bias, and representation in BAFTA’s voting membership. Their initial findings and recommendations are expected to be delivered by the end of the summer.

© Cover Media

Lily James: ‘Filming Rebecca preyed on my own insecurities’

Lily James was unsettled while working on the new adaptation of Rebecca because playing Mrs. de Winter preyed on her own insecurities.In Ben Wheatley’s upcoming adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s novel, the Cinderella actress portrays de Winter, the…

Lily James was unsettled while working on the new adaptation of Rebecca because playing Mrs. de Winter preyed on her own insecurities.

In Ben Wheatley’s upcoming adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s novel, the Cinderella actress portrays de Winter, the second wife of Armie Hammer’s Maxim, who is forced to live in the shadow of his dead first wife, Rebecca.

Yet, James has now shared that the role ended up affecting her mental health and she began having panic attacks because her “deeply insecure” character preyed on her own issues.

“I found it really hard to let the second Mrs. de Winter go,” she told AnOther magazine. “God, the inner workings of her mind. She’s in such conflict, such turmoil. I started having real panic attacks. My heart would beat so fast.

“For a while after filming, I felt unsettled and discombobulated. It’s certainly the role I’ve inhabited the most. Even talking about it, I get kind of breathless. It’s crazy. It was a really powerful experience. I’m definitely an insecure person and the character is so deeply insecure that playing her preyed on my own insecurities. But that was quite an amazing dichotomy.”

James first revealed the role gave her panic attacks when she gave a BAFTA masterclass at the 2019 International Film Festival & Awards in Macao in December.

“She’s really bullied and gaslighted, she lives in a difficult headspace… I kept having panic attacks after it finished, I couldn’t shake it off,” the 30-year-old said at the time.

She also revealed the Netflix film will be “very different” to Alfred Hitchcock’s Oscar-winning adaptation, which starred Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine and was released in 1940.

© Cover Media

Steve McQueen slams BAFTA over lack of diversity

Director Steve McQueen has slammed BAFTA chiefs after black actors and filmmakers were snubbed in the nominations for this year’s awards.British Academy of Film and Television Arts bosses were left embarrassed last week after their members failed to no…

Director Steve McQueen has slammed BAFTA chiefs after black actors and filmmakers were snubbed in the nominations for this year’s awards.

British Academy of Film and Television Arts bosses were left embarrassed last week after their members failed to nominate any black or ethnic minority stars for awards at next month’s ceremony.

Now, McQueen has criticised the lack of diversity at the event, rejecting organisers’ claims that the lack of diversity is down to wider issues with representation in the film industry.

“After a while, you get a bit fed up with it. Because if the BAFTAs are not supporting British talent, if you’re not supporting the people who are making headway in the industry, then I don’t understand what you are there for. Unless the BAFTAs wants to be like the Grammys, which is of no interest to anyone, and has no credibility at all, then they should continue on this path,” he fired in an interview with The Guardian, referencing the criticism of the annual U.S. music awards for snubbing black talent. “If not then they have to change. Fact.”

McQueen, who has an Oscar and two BAFTAs, went on to cite a number of British stars and filmmakers who he thinks should have received recognition, including Cynthia Erivo for Harriet – who has also condemned BAFTA for the lack of diversity – and Daniel Kaluuya for his performance in Queen & Slim. He also shared his disappointment at Lupita Nyong’o not being nominated for Jordan Peele’s Us.

“But not even just British talent, it’s talent in general. It’s crazy,” the 50-year-old added.

The 12 Years a Slave filmmaker went on to insist that if the BAFTAs failed on diversity, they would experience a talent drain as stars and creatives move to Hollywood to find success.

“If (filmmakers) are not recognised visually in our culture, well what’s the b**ody point? It becomes irrelevant, redundant and of no interest or importance. End of,” he concluded.

© Cover Media

BAFTA officials ‘disappointed’ by lack of diversity in nominations

BAFTA officials have admitted they are “disappointed” by the lack of diversity in the nominations for the 2020 British Academy Film Awards. The nominations for the 2020 ceremony were unveiled on Tuesday morning, revealing that Todd Phillips’s Joker ca…

BAFTA officials have admitted they are “disappointed” by the lack of diversity in the nominations for the 2020 British Academy Film Awards.

The nominations for the 2020 ceremony were unveiled on Tuesday morning, revealing that Todd Phillips’s Joker came top with 11 nods, closely followed by Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Martin Scorsese’s gangster epic The Irishman with 10.

Social media users swiftly went online to express their outrage at the all-white acting nominees, with them using the hashtag #BAFTASSoWhite. They blasted BAFTA voters for snubbing the likes of Awkwafina, Jennifer Lopez, Antonio Banderas, and Cynthia Erivo and opting to give Margot Robbie and Scarlett Johansson two nods each.

BAFTA executives have now admitted they are also disappointed about the all-white shortlist.

“Being totally honest, we are disappointed and that is not to take anything away from the people who have been nominated,” said BAFTA chief executive Amanda Berry, according to Press Association. She added that although no female filmmaker made the Best Director shortlist, they were recognised across other categories and this “gives me joy and hope”.

“But we are going to do more, we are not going to stop pushing,” she insisted.

While Marc Samuelson, chairman of BAFTA’s film committee, commented: “Clearly everybody knows that everybody in the four acting groups of nominees are white, it’s infuriating, we can’t make the industry do something, all we can do is encourage and push and inspire and try to help people coming in at the bottom end.”

Samuelson also noted that diversity is improving in other ways, as the percentage of female nominees has risen. However, he did concede, “It doesn’t take anything away from the issue in the acting categories but, nonetheless, it’s something and things are moving.”

The 2020 British Academy Film Awards will be hosted by Graham Norton at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 2 February.

© Cover Media

Awkwafina and Kaitlyn Dever nominated for BAFTA Rising Star honour

Awkwafina and Kaitlyn Dever have been nominated for the 2020 BAFTA Rising Star Award. The 31-year-old, who is known for films such as Crazy Rich Asians, Ocean’s 8 and Jumanji: The Next Level, made history at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday night when…

Awkwafina and Kaitlyn Dever have been nominated for the 2020 BAFTA Rising Star Award.

The 31-year-old, who is known for films such as Crazy Rich Asians, Ocean’s 8 and Jumanji: The Next Level, made history at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday night when she won the Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for her role in The Farewell, becoming the first-ever Asian actor to win a leading actress Golden Globe for a film.

Awkwafina’s success continued on Monday when representatives for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) unveiled the five nominees for the Rising Star Award, an honour given to up-and-coming talent at the organisation’s annual British Academy Film Awards.

“It’s truly an honour to be nominated for the EE Rising Star Award,” said Awkwafina in a statement. “I’m grateful to BAFTA and the jury for the nomination and that I am able to share this recognition with so many other talented actors and actresses.”

The shortlist also included Dever, who was nominated at the Golden Globes for her work in Netflix miniseries Unbelievable, though she lost out to Michelle Williams for Fosse/Verdon. Dever, 23, is best known for films such as Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut Booksmart, Short Term 12, Detroit, and the TV show Justified.

The other nominees include Scottish actor Jack Lowden, whose credits include Dunkirk, Mary Queen of Scots, and Fighting with my Family, Kelvin Harrison Jr., who established himself as one to watch with roles in films such as Waves, It Comes at Night, and Mudbound, and Top Boy actor Micheal Ward, who recently starred in Blue Story.

Previous winners of the Rising Star Award, BAFTA’s only fan-voted category, have included Shia LaBeouf, Kristen Stewart, Tom Hardy, John Boyega, Tom Holland, Daniel Kaluuya, and Letitia Wright.

The winner will be revealed at the awards ceremony at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 2 February.

The full list of nominees will be announced on Tuesday morning.

© Cover Media

Noah Baumbach: ‘Working with Greta Gerwig made me a better writer’

Noah Baumbach believes his partner Greta Gerwig helped improve him as a writer because he was always trying to impress her when they worked together. The Marriage Story director met the actress while casting his 2010 film Greenberg and they went on to …

Noah Baumbach believes his partner Greta Gerwig helped improve him as a writer because he was always trying to impress her when they worked together.

The Marriage Story director met the actress while casting his 2010 film Greenberg and they went on to co-write the screenplay for 2012 film Frances Ha and become a couple.

During an interview as part of the BAFTA Screenwriters’ Lecture Series, Baumbach replied, “Absolutely” when asked if his collaborations with Gerwig helped improve him as a writer.

“If for no other reason I was trying to impress her,” he explained. “She would send me scenes and boy it was so good, it was so exciting to the point that, if I knew maybe a scene was coming, I’d just be refreshing email hoping it would come through. It would always make me feel good if she liked what I sent her or laughed at a thing or something like that. So certainly, on those movies, but I know I’ve improved as a human being because of her and as a director at least in my eyes from watching her, from working with her, and watching her movies now too.”

The pair co-wrote 2015’s Mistress America, which also starred Gerwig, who has since gone on to write and direct her own films, Lady Bird and Little Women. Although they’re not officially listed as co-writers on each other’s projects, they are “always very involved” in the other’s work.

In a new cover interview with Vogue magazine, Gerwig, 36, admitted she was “frustrated” that journalists considered her Baumbach’s muse rather than co-writer in the beginning and questioned whether he opened doors for her.

“The answer is: Yes, of course, for so many reasons. But he’s also this incredibly important collaborator and influence on me. The most important,” she said. “But I think I was hell-bent on making my own films, so I would’ve done it anyway.”

Gerwig graces the cover of Vogue with their son Harold, who was born in March.

© Cover Media

Kathleen Kennedy to receive BAFTA Fellowship

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy will be honoured with the BAFTA Fellowship at the 2020 British Academy Film Awards. The American film producer has been chosen by executives at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) in recognition…

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy will be honoured with the BAFTA Fellowship at the 2020 British Academy Film Awards.

The American film producer has been chosen by executives at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) in recognition of her outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, and she will receive the honour at the annual BAFTA ceremony in London on 2 February 2020.

“British filmmaking has always played a significant role in both my life and career,” she said in a statement. “The recent Star Wars movies – all shot on sound stages and locations across the U.K. – are just the latest opportunities that I’ve had the privilege to work with British crews and filmmakers… I am deeply honoured to receive the Fellowship from BAFTA, and am incredibly thankful to have worked with so many talented members of our extended family in the British filmmaking community.”

Amanda Berry, chief executive of BAFTA, said she was “delighted” to be recognising Kennedy’s career.

“She is a trailblazer who has opened the door for many people to join the industry, and the number of iconic cinematic moments she has helped bring to the big screen has enriched the industry and enthralled the cinema-loving public,” she added.

Kennedy follows in the footsteps of previous Fellowship honorees including Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Elizabeth Taylor, Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, Helen Mirren, Mel Brooks, and Ridley Scott, among others.

The 66-year-old, who was made president of Lucasfilm after it was acquired by Disney in 2012, has overseen production of the current Star Wars trilogy and its spin-offs.

Kennedy co-founded Amblin Entertainment with Steven Spielberg and her now-husband, producer Frank Marshall, in 1981 and got her first producer credit on E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in 1982. Since then, she’s helped produce films such as the Back to the Future trilogy, the original Jurassic Park trilogy, the Indiana Jones franchise, Men in Black, Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List, and The Goonies.

© Cover Media

Jordan Peele to receive BAFTA’s Britannia Award for directing

Jordan Peele is to receive the Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing from BAFTA Los Angeles. The filmmaker, who won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for his directorial debut Get Out, will be honoured with the 2019 John Schlesinger Britannia A…

Jordan Peele is to receive the Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing from BAFTA Los Angeles.

The filmmaker, who won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for his directorial debut Get Out, will be honoured with the 2019 John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing in recognition of his two horror films, Get Out and Us.

“Jordan Peele has earned record-breaking success and critical acclaim through work that pushes boundaries and shines a light on stories of important social relevance,” said BAFTA Los Angeles chief executive Chantal Rickards in a statement. “His imaginative storylines, inclusive casting, and bold style evokes John Schlesinger’s spirit of independence, integrity and commitment to excellence. We are honoured to celebrate Jordan’s talents at this year’s ceremony.”

Peele follows in the footsteps of previous directing honourees including Sam Mendes, Danny Boyle, Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, and Kathryn Bigelow.

Executives at the Los Angeles branch of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) will hand out the honours during in a ceremony at the Beverly Hilton hotel in California on 25 October.

The 40-year-old will join other stars at the event, including Fleabag creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who is set to receive the British Artist of the Year prize, Jackie Chan, who will be presented with the Albert R. Broccoli Britannia Award for Worldwide Contribution to Entertainment accolade, Jane Fonda, who will be honoured with the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film, and British actor/comedian Steve Coogan, who will be given the Excellence in Comedy honour.

Peele is currently producing The Twilight Zone TV show, a remake of horror classic Candyman, and animation Wendell and Wild. He served as a writer on all three projects and has also lent his voice to the latter.

© Cover Media