Our group of anonymous awards voters chew over the Bafta nominations and discuss how they chose the films to watch when faced with more than 260 eligible titles.
Production executive, female, Bafta voter
How did you prioritise what to watch? I am able to watch quite a lot of films ahead of time. It allows me to get a healthy head-start, primarily with British films. Overall, I just pay attention to the smaller or lesser-known films and recommendations to make sure I get out of my comfort zone. I have also cut down on categories I used to vote for.
What’s your take on the Bafta nominations? It is fascinating to see the impact the various mechanisms put in place by Bafta are having. It feels Bafta is mutating in a positive and unpredictable way.
Festival executive, male, Bafta voter
How did you prioritise what to watch? By what I could see in the cinema. I often went for the big films, especially when they were being discussed in the media. I also watched a lot of films from first-time filmmakers to see if there was any talent to look out for.
Is there anything you have seen later in the process that you wish you had voted for in the first round? I would have voted for Licorice Pizza, for sure. I probably would have given House Of Gucci some nods. I watched a lot of new films but not enough documentaries. Having watched Titane again, the reverse is probably true — I might not have voted for it again.
What’s your take on the Bafta nominations? It’s interesting to see that where the whole body votes, as with best film, the nominees have the least amount of racial diversity. I’ll also note that in a year of so many strong female characters, the best films were all movies with a strong male lead. The fact King Richard is not on the list is a sign the wider membership probably still veers away from Black content.
Producer, male, Bafta voter
How did you prioritise what to watch? I am pretty diligent and watched as much as was humanly possible throughout the year. I saw about 10 films on the big screen and it makes all the difference, although I get confused with the platform films. Do I need to see them on the big screen? Were they made for the big screen? Should I rush out to see Don’t Look Up at a screening when it lands on Netflix — for which it was made — a week later? To be honest, I didn’t rush out to screenings of the films made for platforms.
What’s your take on the Bafta nominations? Completely bizarre selection. Don’t Look Up? Are you kidding me? And no West Side Story in picture or director? And After Love? It’s a nice film but best director over Spielberg, Sorrentino and Almodovar? The director nominations are completely out there. It feels wildly random.
Director, female, Bafta and Ampas voter
How did you prioritise what to watch? I sought out the filmmakers I love, but I also tried to find the smaller films. My Twitter feed had people mentioning festival films they responded to, so that helped me become aware of a few I might have overlooked.
What’s your take on the Bafta nominations? I love the eclectic range of the director list. My favourite films are in that best director list and the best film not in the English language. As ever I would like more of the films from those two categories to be in the best film category.
Overall there are fewer Black and brown actors than last year and some huge talents not nominated, like Denzel Washington [for The Tragedy Of Macbeth] or any of the cast in The Harder They Fall. I am disappointed by that. It does feel there is a lot of exciting British talent here. I hope they come through as winners. I worry that when the juries disappear, the voting defaults to names that are most familiar, often those that have the biggest publicity machines behind them.
Casting director, female, Bafta voter
How did you prioritise what to watch? It feels like October to December you are inundated with films to watch and it feels like more of a chore, which is a shame as I love watching films. I start by watching the titles I’m most interested in seeing and then watch the films I’ve been assigned in my group.
Is there anything you have seen later in the process that you wish you had voted for in the first round? Coda and The Worst Person In The World. I’ve just watched them and I enjoyed both films and their central performances.
What’s your take on the Bafta nominations? I’m pleased with the nominations for best actress, it has lots of standout performances. It’s a shame Olivia Colman wasn’t included for The Lost Daughter but overall I agree with the choices. It’s refreshing to see the nominations aren’t just the most high-profile actors. I don’t find the list of nominations for best film very exciting. It’s telling this category has no jury.
Producer, female, Bafta voter
How did you prioritise what to watch? I usually watch at least one of the films a day at a festival so I get to be ahead of the game. I also watch films as soon as they appear on the viewing portal and try to see one film in the cinema a week so I can stay ahead. I also prioritise the British and indie titles ahead of the studio and platform films, as I know they get less marketing.
What’s your take on the Bafta nominations? This is a stage whisper: “Vote Joanna Scanlan, vote Joanna Scanlan, vote Joanna Scanlan!” I am thrilled that Joanna Scanlan’s performance as leading actress has been recognised — she was subtle, vulnerable and powerful in After Love. I was, however, disappointed by the omission of Riders Of Justice from best film not in the English language and Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché from documentary.