One year after a diversity controversy, the BAFTA nominations include many people of color — and some surprising snubs — ahead of the Oscars.

By Joey Nolfi
March 09, 2021 at 09:50 AM EST
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The American Oscar race is feeling the British Academy of Film and Television Arts' ripples from across the pond.

One year after a diversity controversy plagued BAFTA, one of the most significant precursors in the lead-up to the Oscars has announced its annual crop of film nominees amid a busy week on the awards trail, anointing the rise of films like Minari, Nomadland, and a host of projects from diverse filmmakers at the tail end of the Academy's March 5-10 voting window.

Deviating from the awards season narrative so far, BAFTA left out leading contenders like Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman), Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy), Sacha Baron Cohen (The Trial of the Chicago 7), and Mank across the board in favor of Alan Kim (Minari), Radha Blank (The Forty-Year-Old Version), Dominique Fishback (Judas and the Black Messiah), and British productions like Rocks and Calm With Horses.

Other mainstays in the race did, however, push through the highly singular list of nominees, including supporting actress Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), supporting actor Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah), and lead actors Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom), Anthony Hopkins (The Father), and Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), while others (Regina King for Best Director, Jodie Foster for Best Supporting Actress, and others) sat the BAFTA nominations out.

Despite the range of nominees lining BAFTA's slate, the only constant remains Chloé Zhao's Nomadland, which has hit every major precursor without fail since the start of the season, and holds its position as the Best Picture frontrunner.

Sharing a significant number of members with the Academy, BAFTA has long been considered a light predictor of Oscar tastes, though the group hasn't shared a Best Picture winner with the Academy since 2013's 12 Years a Slave. Across the last 20 years, only eight films have won both Best Film at the BAFTAs and Best Picture at the Oscars. Last year's 1917 ultimately lost the Oscar to Parasite despite winning a seemingly unbeatable trifecta or precursor awards from the Producers Guild of America, the Director's Guild of America, and the BAFTA.

This year, several high profile contenders didn't land on BAFTA's previously announced nominee longlists, including Da 5 Bloods' Spike Lee missing among the Best Director set and both likely Best Picture nominees Minari and Judas and the Black Messiah absent from the Best Film longlist. BAFTA's 2021 nominations land over one year after BAFTA's 2020 slate caused heated debate over issues of representation on the awards trail, as social media erupted after the group nominated 20 white actors among its four main acting categories despite strong pre-season report cards from actors like Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers)Lupita Nyong'o (Us)Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), and Awkwafina (The Farewell).

In a statement provided to EW at the time, BAFTA CEO Amanda Berry called the 2020 nominations "hugely disappointing," and pointed to the group's "year round activity [that] has many strands that focus on diversity" while promising to "double down on our efforts to affect real change and to continue to support" people of color in the film industry.

This year, awards pundits have pointed out BAFTA's peculiar implementation of juries to help determine nominees — and a standard that indicated there "should be a minimum of 50 percent of BAFTA members on each jury, however the balance of diversity is the overriding factor, rather than balance of members and non-members." This means that nominees could potentially be determined by non-BAFTA members, and likely explains why certain categories (Best Actress, in particular) deviated from the awards season trajectory already in place for contenders like Mulligan and Davis. According to a BAFTA representative, "95 percent of the jurors were BAFTA members" for the 2021 nominations.

See the full list of 2020-21 BAFTA nominations below. Winners will be handed out at a ceremony on April 11.

Outstanding British Film

Calm With Horses
The Dig
The Father
His House
Limbo

The Mauritanian
Mogul Mowgli
Promising Young Woman
Rocks
Saint Maud

Adapted Screenplay

The Dig
The Father
The Mauritanian
Nomadland

The White Tiger

Original Screenplay

Another Round
Mank
Promising Young Woman
Rocks
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Supporting Actress

Niamh Algar — Calm With Horses
Rosar Ali — Rocks
Maria Bakalova — Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Dominique Fishback — Judas and the Black Messiah
Ashley Madekwe — County Lines
Yuh-jung Youn — Minari

Best Lead Actress

Bukky Bakray — Rocks
Radha Blank — The Forty-Year-Old Version
Vanessa Kirby — Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand — Nomadland
Wunmi Mosaku — His House
Alfre Woodard — Clemency

Best Supporting Actress

Niamh Algar — Calm With Horses
Rosar Ali — Rocks
Maria Bakalova — Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Dominique Fishback — Judas and the Black Messiah
Ashley Madekwe — County Lines
Yuh-jung Youn — Minari

Best Animated Film

Onward
Soul
Wolfwalkers

Best Film Not in the English Language

Another Round
Dear Comrades!
Les Miserables
Minari
Quo Vadis, Aida?

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer

His House
Limbo
Moffie
Rocks
Saint Maud

Best Supporting Actor

Daniel Kaluuya — Judas and the Black Messiah
Barry Keoghan — Calm With Horses
Alan Kim — Minari
Leslie Odom, Jr. — One Night in Miami...
Clarke Peters — Da 5 Bloods
Paul Raci — Sound of Metal

Best Lead Actor

Riz Ahmed — Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman — Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Adarsh Gourav — The White Tiger
Anthony Hopkins — The Father
Mads Mikkelsen — Another Round
Tahar Rahim — The Mauritanian

Best Director

Thomas Vinterberg — Another Round
Shannon Murphy — Babyteeth
Lee Isaac Chung — Minari
Chloé Zhao — Nomadland
Jasmila Žbanić — Quo Vadis, Aida?
Sarah Gavron — Rocks

Best Film

The Father
The Mauritanian
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
The Trial of the Chicago 7

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