The British Academy has unveiled various changes and tweaks to its rules for the upcoming 2024 film awards.
The most significant new additions will impact the entries for the outstanding British film and outstanding debut categories, each of which will, for the first time, be required to provide information regarding the bullying and harassment policies put in place during the production. The move builds on guidelines first drawn up by BAFTA alongside various other industry bodies in 2018 in the wake of the MeToo scandal, and will see producers required to show, among other things, that there has been a clear process for people to report any incidents. A more detailed template will be made available in the coming weeks, but those without any policy will need to appeal to the BAFTA Film Committee.
“For us, this sends out a clear message to the industry that employees have a responsibility to provide safe work environments,” Emma Baehr, BAFTA’s director of awards and content, told The Hollywood Reporter.
It will also be mandatory for films submitted to outstanding British film category to have had a sustainability policy in place as part of the production, and while the Diversity Standards requirements haven’t changed, BAFTA is asking entries to supply data with regards to the British Film Institute’s new Diversity Standard E, which covers accessibility.
“There’ll be a period of transition where it’s not mandatory, but we will need to collect the data so that we can monitor it alongside the BFI to see where there might be areas we need to offer more guidance and more clarity,” said Baehr.
Elsewhere, in the director category, the rules for which were revamped as part of the major review in 2020, has been tweaked to include directors who identify as non-binary. For 2024, the top female, male and non-binary identifying directors will be longlisted to a maximum of 17, with gender parity between male and female directors upheld. For the first round of voting, BAFTA’s directing chapter will vote for their top 16, of which the top ranked female and male directors, along with directors who identify as non-binary will be automatically longlisted to a maximum of 11, with gender parity upheld between female and male directors. The final six places on the longlist will be determined by a longlisting jury, selected from the next eight ranked female and eight male directors and non-binary directors.
The inclusion of non-binary directors wasn’t “reactive,” explained Baehr, who said it was “just to ensure that we are being inclusive,” adding that “we look at every single role and every single part of our awards and need to make sure that, looking at the longer term, we’re remaining relevant and fair.”