Bafta generic

Source: BAFTA/Marc Hoberman


Juries will play a slightly smaller role in determining the nominees in the acting and directing categories of the Bafta Film Awards (Bafta) in 2023, according to new voting rules and details on eligibility criteria unveiled today (July 26).

In round one of three voting rounds, the four acting categories will now see the top three automatically nominated. This is up from two last year. The longlisting and nominating jury process remains the same as last year, with the nominating jury selecting the remaining three places on the nominations list (down from four last year) - with the total nominations staying the same at a total of six per category. 

In the best director category, the top two, regardless of gender, from the round one chapter vote will be automatically nominated. The top five female and top five male directors will be longlisted. The longlisting jury will select the remaining three female and three male directors to create a gender-equal longlist of 16.

“The performance categories were where we saw the most under-representation historically and required the most intervention [in the form of the creation of juries],” said Emma Baehr, executive director of awards and content at Bafta. “Each year it’s about refining the rules.”

In round two, the nominating jury will select four directors to join the two automatically nominated in round one, to create six nominations.

Shorter lists

Further changes for this year include a reduction in the number of films in the longlists due to the reduced time frame now the awards ceremony is returning to its pre-pandemic time slot of Sunday February 19, 2023 

Best film and all craft categories will now be 10 films (from 15), outstanding British film will be 15 films (from 20), and best director will be 16 films (from 20).

The longlists for outstanding British debut, short and short animation will remain unchanged at 10, 10 and 6 respectively.

The longlists will be announced on January 6 and the nominations on January 19.

Release rules

Most eligible films for the 2023 awards must be released theatrically in the UK for the first time between January 1, 2022 and February 17, 2023.

For those eligible for documentary and film not in the English-language categories, the eligibility period for 2023 is from January 1, 2021 to March 10, 2023. Bafta pointed out that the eligibility for next year’s awards (to be held in 2024) in these two categories starts from January 1, 2023.

In all of these categories day and date releases are eligible but VoD-only releases are not, Films must be released theatrically to the public for the first time to a paying audience on at least 10 commercial screens in the UK for at least seven days in aggregate (not including festival screenings).

As before, for films applying for outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer, films must screen theatrically to a paying audience on at least one screen for at least seven days in aggregate but not necessarily at the same venue. They may also qualify with an international or a qualifying festival release.