New timeline and eligibility criteria have been confirmed in light of the BAFTA 2020 Review and the Covid-19 pandemic.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has published the official rules and guidelines for the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards and the British Academy Television Craft Awards, alongside a timeline of key dates for 2021.
New eligibility criteria have been confirmed in light of the BAFTA 2020 Review and the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the changes, the British Academy Television Craft Awards will take place on May 24, 2021, while the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards will take place on June 6, 2021.
Other changes include the formal introduction of the BFI Diversity Standards for the Television and Television Craft Awards following a successful pilot in 2020. For 2021, the number of nominees in the performance categories will increase from four to six. The total number of nominees in all other categories will remain as four.
BAFTA will also offer winners the chance to purchase two additional masks for key individual creatives who were part of the creative process but not one of the six named nominees or production company representatives.
Each broadcaster continues to be permitted to put forward two additional entries after the first round of voting. For all performance and craft categories, broadcasters must use at least one of the two permitted entries to put forward a candidate from an under-represented group as addressed in the BFI’s Diversity Standards.
BAFTA will also introduce a new Daytime category for 2021, recognising the important role that daytime programming plays in the lives of viewers and in providing a pipeline for new and underrepresented talent.
In light of the impact on film productions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the eligibility window for the Soap and Continuing Drama category has been extended to the end of January 2021. The Sport and Live Events categories will be merged for the 2021 Awards.
Commenting on the new rules, Hannah Wyatt, Chair of BAFTA’s Television Committee said: “We are delighted to confirm the updated rules and eligibility criteria, alongside the dates for the 2021 awards. This announcement comes in the wake of the BAFTA 2020 Review publication, which involved an in-depth consultation with the industry and signalled the beginning of a significant cultural shift at BAFTA. We saw significant progress in the diversity of our 2020 Television Awards and these additional changes are designed to continue that trajectory, ensuring BAFTA champions an industry taking proactive steps to level the playing field.”