BAFTA Trims Voting Procedure, Moves Noms Up a Week

British Academy of Film and Television Arts streamlines its three-round process 


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has changed and streamlined its voting procedures, trimming what was a three-round process down to two rounds and moving its nomination announcement a week earlier than usual.

The changes, which were announced by BAFTA in London on Tuesday, eliminate the "longlist" phase of voting for the Orange British Academy Film Awards. Under the new system, an initial round of voting will produce nominees, which will be announced on Jan. 9; a second round will choose the winners, which will be revealed at the BAFTA ceremony on Feb. 10.

“For several years, the question of whether the Academy should move from our three-round voting system to a two-round system has been on the Film Committee’s agenda," said Nik Powell, the chair of BAFTA's Film Committee, in the release announcing the changes.

“This decision was taken due to the simplicity and clarity of a two-round system, not to mention its potential to involve members more. These changes capitalise on the strength and expertise of the Academy’s chapter voting system, which was first introduced in 2004/05,” Powell added.

In the past, a now-eliminated initial round of voting narrowed the field down to the 15 top choices in each category, the longlist. Those selections were made by the overall BAFTA membership, as was a second round of voting that narrowed those lists to the final nominees. A third round, done by chapter experts in most categories, picked the winners.

BAFTA also changed the process in which the entire membership voted for nominations in most categories, but only specific chapters picked the winners. (This was the opposite of the Academy Awards' process, in which individual branches make the nominations and the entire membership votes for the winners.)

In the future, BAFTA announced, the overall membership will vote for both nominations and winners in the Best Film and four performance categories. Individual chapters will pick both the nominees and the winners in 11 categories: Adapted Screenplay, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Costume Design, Director, Editing, Make-up & Hair, Original Music, Production Design, Sound and Special Visual Effects.

Members who feel they have expertise in the specific area can opt-in to vote for nominees and winners in the Animation, Documentary, Film Not in the English Language and Outstanding British Film categories.

Juries will continue to decide nominees and winners in the Outstanding Debut category, while juries will continue to pick nominees in the two short film categories, with shorts winners decided by a previously-existing opt-in chapter.

The new dates give BAFTA voters an additional five days between the release of nominations and the awards ceremony.