BAFTA nominations see diversity push, ‘Nomadland’ and ‘Rocks’ lead nods

Filmmaker Chloe Zhao is nominated for Best Director for "Nomadland."
REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File Photo

By Marie-Louise Gumuchian

U.S. recession drama “Nomadland” and coming-of-age story “Rocks” led the nominations for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards on Tuesday with seven nods each, with a clear push on diversity among the acting contenders following an outcry last year.

Family drama “The Father”, Hollywood throwback “Mank”, #MeToo revenge movie “Promising Young Woman” and Korean-language “Minari” followed with six nominations each at Britain’s top movie honours.

Four of the six best director nominees were women, including Chloe Zhao for “Nomadland” and Sarah Gavron for “Rocks”.

More than half of the 24 nominees were actors of colour – a huge change to last year when BAFTA revealed an all-white acting contenders list, sparking an online outcry with the hashtag #BaftasSoWhite trending on social media.

This year’s leading actor nominees include Riz Ahmed for his portrayal of a heavy metal drummer going deaf in “Sound of Metal” and the late Chadwick Boseman for his role in 1920s jazz drama “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”.

Leading actress nominees include Bukky Bakray for “Rocks” and Frances McDormand for “Nomadland”.

“Nomadland”, about a community of van dwellers, was also nominated for best film and adapted screenplay. The movie has had a successful start to the awards season, earning two Golden Globes.

The other best film contenders are 1960s Vietnam War protest drama “The Trial of the Chicago” 7″, “Promising Young Woman”, “The Father” and Guantanamo Bay movie “The Mauritanian”.

Nominations for “Rocks” include outstanding British film, original screenplay and supporting actress for Kosar Ali.

The BAFTAs will take place virtually from London’s Royal Albert Hall next month. Berry said there would be two shows over two nights, with more details to follow in coming weeks.



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