Another awards announcement, another morning where women have been completely shut out of the Best Director race. The BAFTA Awards are facing backlash for nominating only male filmmakers for the fifth year in a row. The last woman to be nominated for the BAFTA Best Director prize was Kathryn Bigelow for “Zero Dark Thirty” back in 2013. This year’s BAFTA nominees are Denis Villeneuve (“Blade Runner 2049”), Luca Guadagnino (“Call Me by Your Name”), Christopher Nolan (“Dunkirk”), Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water”), and Martin McDonagh (“Three Billboards”).
The BAFTA Awards often favor homegrown talent, as IndieWire’s awards editor Anne Thompson noted in her analysis report, which means female-directed films such as “Wonder Woman” and “Mudbound” were always going to be a tough sell to the voting body. However, Greta Gerwig was not included in the Best Director race despite the fact that her film was clearly loved by BAFTA voters. Gerwig herself is nominated for Best Screenplay, while stars Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalfe are competing for acting trophies.
Gerwig’s omission from the race has caused a strong reaction online, with many criticizing the BAFTAs for failing to acknowledge a deserving female director. The awards are also being slammed for nominating only male-directed films for Best Film and for Best British Film.
Amazed Lady Bird didn’t make the @BAFTA Best Film shortlist, and its writer / director Greta Gerwig didn’t get a Best Director nom in what is an all male list. Disappointing.
— Will Gompertz (@WillGompertzBBC) January 9, 2018
BAFTA film awards shortlist is out. I’m sad not to see Ladybird shortlisted for best film, I thought it was wonderful. Greta Gerwig deserves a best director nomination too.
— John O’Farrell (@mrjohnofarrell) January 9, 2018
All BAFTA’s best director nominees were men, and all nominations for best film and best British film were also directed by men. Sigh. https://t.co/UzuKQvzHST
— Matt Wells (@MatthewWells) January 9, 2018
The #BAFTA2018 nominations are really, really bad for women. There are hardy any female nominees. Shameful.
— Melissa Silverstein (@melsil) January 9, 2018
BAFTA noms: How depressing that Greta Gerwig has again been missed off a Best Director list.
— Nick James (@filmnickjames) January 9, 2018
No women nominated for Best Director – c’mon BAFTA, you can do better than that pic.twitter.com/cWEhQGemk5
— Lucy Pavia (@LucyPavia) January 9, 2018
Following suit with @goldenglobes, the @BAFTA’s have announced an ALL MALE best director category! GREAT PROGRESS! For an organisation that prides itself on diversity- fallen short here. I don’t want to take away from the talent listed here, but come on now #supportwomeninfilm pic.twitter.com/FRk9wJ8ppS
— charlie⛄️ (@CharlieGranby) January 9, 2018
— Kate Birch (@KateBirch20) January 9, 2018
The Golden Globes faced similar backlash in December when it announced its all-male director race, excluding Gerwig, Jenkins, and Rees. Natalie Portman made headlines during the Golden Globes ceremony when she announced the Best Director category by saying, “Here are the all male nominees.”
The EE British Academy Film Awards take place on Sunday, February 18 at the Royal Albert Hall, London.