Don’t expect BAFTA Awards to predict the Oscars after new system of voting upends nominations

The 2021 BAFTA nominations were revealed on March 9, just 36 hours before the deadline for Oscar voters to weigh in with their own choices. In the past, we read the tea leaves of the Brit picks to refine our Oscar predictions. But that doesn’t look to be the case this year.  The British academy overhauled the nominations process. It brought back longlists (which had been retired in 2013) and introduced juries that determined the nominees in key categories. The result – indie fare dominated the BAFTA nominations over more mainstream movies, many of which are Oscar frontrunners. (Check out the biggest BAFTA snubs for acting and movies, directors and screenplays.)

The British Academy of Film and Television Academy has approximately 9,000 voting members as does the academy. In 2013 the BAFTAs had adopted a system akin to the Oscars where nominations were determined by each branch (except for Best Picture). The British academy made this change so that the BAFTAs could take place before final voting for the Oscars was over. However this year the BAFTA Awards upended its nominating system in an effort to increase viewership of all the submitted films.

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In round one, voters ranked their top 15 films and those with the most votes made the longlists that were revealed on February 4. For the acting and directing categories, juries comprised of about a dozen diverse voters drawn from a range of backgrounds chose the final four entries on the longlists; they also decided the six nominees.

In round two, which kicked off off February 19, members were required to watch all the contenders on the longlists. They then ranked their top five films to determine nominations. While there are only five nominees for Best Picture, screenplays and craft categories, there are six in each of the acting categories, up from five. There are also six nominees for Best Director and in an effort to address a lack in female representation, that longlist had 10 men and 10 women.

In round three, which will run from March 25 to April 7, the entire membership can vote for the winners in each category after watching all nominated films.

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