Bafta steering group

Source: Kate Jackson Photography/BAFTA LA/Flickr/Ibsan73

Anna Higgs, Kathryn Busby, Noel Clarke

Bafta has unveiled the members of its new steering group leading a review into the much-publicised lack of diversity at this year’s Bafta film awards. 

The group will be chaired by Bafta deputy chair Krishnendu Majumdar. The other members are:

  • Kathryn Busby – executive vice president of TriStar Television
  • Noel Clarke – actor, writer, director, producer
  • Sadia Habib – academic and co-founder RizTest
  • Anna Higgs – head of entertainment media partnership, northern europe Facebook
  • Nahrein Kemp – film and TV executive, Film London, runs Equal Access Network
  • Kate Lee – founder and partner, Freuds
  • Dee Poku – founder and CEO of WIE; founder The Other Festival
  • Ade Rawcliffe – head of diversity, ITV Commissioning
  • Marc Samuelson – producer
  • Tara Saunders – director of studio operations, Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Jennifer Smith – head of inclusion, BFI
  • Sam Tatlow – ThinkBIGGER talent manager

The review will cover the nominations and voting process, the role of distributors, campaigning, and the makeup of Bafta’s membership. It will focus on the film awards, but can also cover the television, television craft and games awards. The group will also review the latest available research into systemic issues in the industry.

The initial findings and recommendations are expected by the end of Summer 2020. These will be reviewed by independent expert Professor Doris Ruth Eikhof from the University of Glasgow, who currently leads the BFI-backed AHRC project Everyday Diversity In The UK Screen Sector.

The 2020 Bafta film awards were overshadowed by fierce critism over the lack of diversity in many categories. The four acting categories were all white and there were no female filmmakers nominated for best director for a seventh consecutive year. Bafta CEO Amanda Berry said at the time she was “very disappointed” at the lack of diversity in the shortlist.

New term proposal

Meanwhile, Bafta chair Pippa Harris and Bafta chief executive Amanda Berry have sent a message to members proposing to extend the term for chairs from two to three years. In the email, Harris said this would apply to her successor as chair, Krishnendu Majumdar and all future chairs. The recommendation follows a review by Deloitte into Bafta’s governance.

Harris said: ”There are also a number of long-term projects, like the renovation of 195 Piccadilly, which would clearly benefit from having stability of leadership over a greater period than two years.”

The proposal will be voted on by Bafta members at the next AGM on June 1.