The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) for the first time, will be introducing the Casting category from 2020 award ceremony, as the academy on Wednesday, August 7th 2019, announced its annual review of all categories in the award nominations.
According to the information made available by the BAFTA film committee, the body arrived at the decision after it undertook its annual review of all categories in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders across the industry.
BAFTA in their statement stated that they are introducing the Casting award category, which will be the first new category since Outstanding Debut (as the Carl Foreman Award) was presented in 1999 and will recognise achievements in the craft of casting and its importance in film-making.
A Casting award will also be introduced to the British Academy Television Craft Awards in 2020, marking the first time BAFTA has simultaneously introduced a category.
Speaking on the issuePippa 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 that the Original Music category is to be renamed Original Score, underlining a focus on composer and score, and acknowledging the integral part they play in contributing to the narrative, atmosphere and emotional landscape of the film.
BAFTA-nominated composer David Arnold(Quantum of Solace, Independence Day), said “BAFTA is about recognising and rewarding excellence in the craft of film-making with the hope that it will inspire future generations to pursue these skills to the highest standards. I feel these new category changes will go a long way to ensuring the proponents of these skills are effectively identified and justifiably recognised.”
The organisers also stated that: “following extensive consultation across the industry, BAFTA has decided there will be no change to existing eligibility rules regarding the theatrical release required for a film to qualify for the Film Awards. Films for the 2020 Awards are eligible if they have been theatrically exhibited publicly to a paying audience on at least ten commercial screens in the UK for at least seven days in aggregate.
It is the intention that all films are entered within the spirit of the rules and not purely to qualify for the Awards. Therefore, the Film Committee, as the final arbiter on what qualifies, is working towards ensuring that entrants respect industry norms; so films are released more broadly and across a wide geographical area, are scheduled at conventional cinema times, are not four-walled, and would encourage that admission figures are shared.”