BAFTA responds to lack of female director nominees: “We just have to push a lot harder”

The BAFTA Film Awards are the latest in a number of award shows to shut out the female directing competition

Emma Watson in Little Women, Way to Blue

BAFTA has responded to criticism that the nominees for Best Director at this year’s BAFTA Film Awards do not feature a single female.

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The full list of nominations was revealed on Tuesday morning following Sunday’s Golden Globe awards, which were also lacking in recognition for female directors.

Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Lulu Wang (The Farewell) and Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers) are among the names that commentators have suggested should have been among the nominees.

Amanda Berry, CEO of BAFTA, told Sky News: “We did a scheme three years ago to try and support women in the industry, to get them onto the next stage of their career. I think we absolutely need to do more of that, we will do more of it.”

She drew attention to the fact that 13 female directors are nominated in other categories at the awards, including Frozen 2’s Jennifer Lee for Animated Film, while six more female directors are recognised for work in short films.

Berry added: “It is changing, but I think we at BAFTA just have to push a lot harder.”

Marc Samuelson, the chair of BAFTA’s film committee, attributed the lack of female directors to a broader issue affecting the entire industry.

“BAFTA voters can only vote for the films that are put in front of them. BAFTA has to try very hard and push and push, but BAFTA can’t make the decisions for the studios as to which stories get told and who gets hired. All BAFTA can do is keep on pushing, which BAFTA will continue to do,” he told Sky News.

The only woman to ever win the award for Best Direction at the BAFTA Film Awards is Kathryn Bigelow, who took the prize in 2009 for her war drama The Hurt Locker.

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The BAFTA Film Awards winners will be announced on Sunday 2nd February 2020