The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) introduces its first new awards category in 20 years, the casting award. The news comes shortly after longtime casting director David Rubin was appointed as president of the film academy by AMPAS‘ Board of Governors. The news also poses the question of whether the new Academy presidency will pave the way for a long-awaited casting awards at the Oscars.
BAFTA announced the new awards category, which extends to its TV branch, Wednesday morning in a press release. The award will “recognize achievements in the craft of casting and its importance in film-making.”
Pippa Harris, Chair of BAFTA, said “BAFTA’s Awards exist to recognise excellence across the industry and we are delighted this year to be including the highly skilled work of casting directors for the first time. Casting is essential to the screen industries, and vital in terms of promoting diversity and inclusion on-screen. We hope this Award will also help to promote an understanding of casting and look forward to seeing who will be the first winner in February!”
Lucy Bevan, Casting Director (Cats, Maleficent), said “I am delighted that a Casting award will be introduced at both the Film and Television Craft Awards this year, it is a great honour for our industry to be recognised by BAFTA and I look forward to seeing many deserving, talented casting professionals receive the award in the years to come. I would like to thank BAFTA on behalf of casting directors across the world, it is terrific news for our profession.”
BAFTA also announced some rule changes and category tweaks as well as its timeline of key dates for 2020. The category previously known as Original Music will now be known as Original Score. Rules for qualifying theatrical releases remain if a film is screened to a paying audience in at least ten commercial UK screens, for a minimum of seven days in aggregate.
BAFTA will also allow an extended four-week eligibility period for features not in the English language. The extension will work to allow distributors and exhibitors additional time to find a release window for films to garner more public viewing opportunities and a decent rollout.
FILM AWARDS 2020 KEY DATES
Monday 2 September- Deadline for Outstanding Debut titles
Tuesday 22 October- Deadline for submission of Stage One entry forms
Thursday 21 November- Deadline for Stage Two entry submission
Friday 29 November- Draft Entered Films list to be made available to voters and entrants
Friday 6 December- Deadline for requests to changes to the Draft Entered Films list and SVFX Statements
Wednesday 11 December- Films released in the UK after 1 January 2020 must be screened to BAFTA voters by this date to qualify
Thursday 12 December- Round One voting opens at 10:00
Monday 30 December- Round One voting closes at 18:00
Deadline for SVFX reels
Tuesday 7 January- Nominations announcement
Round Two voting opens
Wednesday 29 January- Round Two voting closes at 18:00
Friday 31 January- All entered films to have been screened to the public by this date (except for FNIEL titles, which must be screened to the public by Friday 28 February)
Sunday 2 February- EE British Academy Film Awards