The 74th BAFTA Film Awards officially opened last night with host Clara Amfo handing out the craft awards, as this year’s revamped ceremony takes place across two star-studded evenings.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom was the big winner of Saturday night’s event, winning two awards for Best Costume Design and Best Makeup, as the technical prizes were announced.
Noel Clarke (Doctor Who, Bulletproof) received the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award, giving an impassioned speech: “This is for the underrepresented. Anyone who sits at home believing they can achieve more. This is for my Black boys and girls out there who never believed this could happen to them.”
Other winners included British independent gem Rocks, Christopher Nolan’s thriller Tenet, and Netflix’s Mank.
Amfo was joined by Thick of It star Joanna Scanlan and film critic Rhianna Dhillon at the Royal Albert Hall, which is the venue of tonight’s ceremony. Winners will be receiving their awards virtually due to continuing pandemic restrictions. The main show is being hosted by Dermot O’Leary and Edith Bowman.
The Duke of Cambridge was due to appear in a pre-recorded segment, but cancelled after the death of his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh. Amfo paid tribute to Prince Philip, who was Bafta’s first president from 1959-66.
As ever, the event will celebrate the best films from the past year (although there have been one or two coronavirus-enforced changes to the eligibility rules) with a number of critically acclaimed releases up for numerous prizes, including Nomadland and Rocks.
Meanwhile, a brand new voting system has been used, resulting in a varied and perhaps unpredictable line-up, including prominent nods for films such as Quo Vadis, Aida? and Another Round and the most diverse line-up of acting nominees in BAFTA history.
Of course, there will be a star-studded list of guest presenters and some exciting music performances to add some glamour to both evenings – read on for everything you need to know about the BAFTA Film Awards 2021.
When are the BAFTA Film Awards 2021?
For the first time, the 2021 BAFTA Film Awards is taking place across two nights, with the Craft Awards being held on Saturday 10th April and the main show airing tonight, Sunday 11th April.
How to watch BAFTA Film Awards 2021
Watching both ceremonies is easy enough: the Craft Awards were shown on BBC Two from 8pm on Saturday 10th April, and the main event airs on BBC One from 7pm on 11th April.
You can also tune in via iPlayer, plus both programmes will also be broadcast in all major territories around the world.
BAFTA Film Awards 2021 host
The main show this year is being hosted by Dermot O’Leary and Edith Bowman, both of whom have previously worked on the Red Carpet pre-show on several occasions. Meanwhile, hosting duties for the Craft Awards fall to Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo.
As usual, there will also be a vast array of famous faces on hand to announce the winners of various awards, with the list of guest presenters including A-list stars such as Hugh Grant, Tom Hiddleston and Pedro Pascal.
Other awards presenters include Asim Chaudhry, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Sophie Cookson, Phoebe Dynevor, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Cynthia Erivo, Richard E. Grant, Felicity Jones, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, James McAvoy, David Oyelowo and Jonathan Pryce.
Meanwhile, Rose Byrne, Andra Day, Anna Kendrick and last year’s Best Actress winner Renée Zellweger will all be tuning in to announce winners from a studio in Los Angeles.
BAFTA Film Awards 2021 nominations
The new nominations process has resulted in a very interesting slate of nominations, with Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland and Sarah Gavron’s Rocks leading the pack with seven nods apiece.
Other films to have received multiple nominations include The Father, The Mauritanian, Judas and the Black Messiah, and Another Round.
Meanwhile, the acting categories have produced the most diverse line-up in BAFTA history, with two-thirds of the nominees coming from ethnic minority backgrounds including British stars such as Bukky Bakray, Daniel Kaluuya and Riz Ahmed.
This year’s BAFTA Fellowship will be awarded to Taiwanese director Ang Lee, whose impressive filmography includes Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain, and Life of Pi.
Check out the full list of BAFTA Film Awards 2021 nominations.
BAFTA musical performances
Throughout both nights, there will be regular musical performances from an array of big stars.
On Saturday, Supporting Actor nominee Leslie Odom Jr., will be singing the track Speak Now from One Night in Miami…, while he’ll be back on Sunday to sing a duet of A Change is Gonna Come, with Corinne Bailey Rae.
Meanwhile, Celeste will perform the song Hear My Voice from Best Film nominee The Trial of the Chicago 7, while Liam Payne will give a special AR performance prior to the main event starting.