In Wake of Oscar Delay, the BAFTAs Move 2021 Awards to April

     June 15, 2020

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It’s going to be weird to celebrate the films of 2020, given the fact that the whole entire world was, I dunno, not allowed to visit a movie theater for months at a time to try and keep a catastrophic global pandemic at bay. But now, as movie theaters slowly begin to re-open and Christopher Nolan refuses to sacrifice his idea of movie purity for the sake of all our health, the award ceremony powers that be have decided to start scheduling when such a bizarre celebration shall take place. We previously reported that the 2021 Academy Awards will occur April 25, allowing for films released as late as February 28, 2021 to be eligible for contention. Now, per Variety, the BAFTAs have announced their celebration date as well: April 11, two weeks before the Oscars.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts ostensibly aims to honor the best in British film. In practice, however, they honor films from across the world, including America, and are widely seen as one of the many key predictors when prognosticators pick what the Oscars might select. Originally, the 2021 BAFTAs were going to take place on the very romantic date of February 14 — but now that the Oscars have shifted in attempts to pivot with the COVID of it all, the BAFTAs are following their dance moves. Here’s what the organization said in a statement released today:

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Image via Neon/CJ Entertainment

This change from the previously announced date of Feb. 14 acknowledges the impact of the global pandemic and accommodates an extended eligibility period. Further details on the ceremony will be announced later in the year.

After they followed suit regarding allowing digital-only movies to be eligible for awards (given, again, pandemic-no-theaters), It looks like the BAFTAs are following the suit of the Academy in other important ways moving forward. Let’s hope for both ceremonies’ sake that we get a more eclectic, unpredictable, and inclusive spate of nominees — as that should be how we celebrate the films of 2020, and for that matter, every other year.

Why not take a trip back to “a few months ago” to see what works of 2019 cinema the last round of BAFTAs awarded?

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