Film Awards eligibility period extended by BAFTA to cover all of 2021

WASHINGTON: The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has decided to extend the eligibility period for its Film Awards this year, allowing titles to release at any point in 2021 and still be eligible for the upcoming ceremony in April.

According to Deadline, earlier April 9 was set as the cut-off date for releases. Though the awards body has relaxed its rules regarding the theatrical component of a release, that timeline was still looking unrealistic due to the ongoing pandemic situation, with the UK in full lockdown since December and likely to remain so for at least another month.

BAFTA had announced it would allow release date appeals “under the most exceptional of circumstances” but this will no longer be necessary for distributors. Deadline recently sat down with BAFTA chairman Krishnendu Majumdar and Marc Samuelson, Chair of the BAFTA Film Committee, to discuss the 2021 rules changes among other topics.

However, this excludes films that are not in the English language and are documentaries. These will have to be released within the extended deadline of April 30.

Marc Samuelson, chair of the BAFTA film committee, said: “The new extended eligibility period will give distributors the opportunity to release their qualifying films in cinemas later this year once restrictions have lifted.”

He added, “Our intention is to be as flexible and supportive as we can during these difficult times as well as allow audiences to see as many of these films as possible in a theatrical setting.”

As per Deadline, voting opened for the BAFTA Film Awards on January 12, with nominations to be unveiled on March 9 and the ceremony scheduled for April 11.