Bafta Award Presenters: winners, losers, and a lot of social alienation at the BAFTAs in 2021. Everything was different at the 2021 BAFTAs, with COVID restrictions resulting in an eerily sparse event at the Royal Albert Hall. But the pandemic did not hinder the film industry from celebrating its glories. The 2021 British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) ceremony will also mark a number of firsts thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This meant that Dermot O’Leary and Edith Bowman had to face a somewhat empty auditorium while keeping a physical distance from each other during the live broadcast from London’s Royal Albert Hall, which was still being used for the event. The BAFTA Awards in 2021 will feature Edith Bowman and Dermot O’Leary. At times, produced laughter and special effects failed to fill the auditorium, resulting in awkward moments, as the two presenters were just accompanied by a brief list of celebrities to announce the winners, who all took their prizes remotely without the typical red carpet glamour.
Four light columns spelling out the word “film” across the stage added to the overall sensation of emptiness. It was evident from the start that this year’s BAFTA Awards presentation had to be a different affair, with BAFTA chief executive Amanda Berry driving the message of social separation home by putting a visor over her face when she entered the Royal Albert Hall. The two presenters paid tribute to the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who served as president of the BAFTA academy for several years. Minorities, diversity, and pluralism are all on display.
The prospect of fresh starts
After an extremely difficult year for British filmmaking, this year’s Oscars ceremony was a pleasant relief for everyone involved. According to O’Leary, it’s “a bit like getting that ship out of the Suez Canal” that the movie industry can thrive despite the restrictions set by COVID-19. Many newcomers made the top categories, with a focus on diversity in light of recent accusations of racism in the global cinema business. With several more technical categories already revealed and awarded on Saturday, this year’s presentation was the first to span two days.
On Thursday, BAFTA’s official Twitter account released the identities of the nominees. Tweeted, “We’re so excited to announce that the presenters at the #EEBAFTAs include @twhiddleston, @priyankachopra, @HackedOffHugh, and so many more!!” On @BBCOne Sunday night, you can catch them all at 7 pm. During his speech, Prince William will be joined by costume designer Jenny Beavan, a three-time BAFTA award winner, and cosmetics and hair artist Sharon Martin, who will discuss the challenges of filming in a secure environment and the art of filmmaking.
Nomadland’s overwhelming success came as a surprise to some, given that Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom had emerged as a frontrunner throughout the first day of the two-day ceremony, winning the categories of costume design and make-up, and hair. The film, which depicts the life story of blues singer Gertrude “Ma” Rainey in the 1920s, had also won many accolades at the Stage Actors Guild awards one week before in Los Angeles. Sir Anthony Hopkins won the award for his portrayal in The Father, in which he plays an elderly man with dementia who refuses to take any help from his daughter.
Stars like Rose Byrne, Andra Day, Anna Kendrick, and Renée Zellweger will join the aforementioned from Los Angeles. The EE British Academy Film Awards Weekend will take place on April 10-11 at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Leslie Odom Jr., who’s also been nominated for supporting actor, will sing on “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami.
Bafta Award Presenters
The film’s star Chadwick Boseman, who passed away last year, was also nominated in the leading actor category. The best-adapted script prize went to the film as well. As for Promising Young Woman, it was the winner of two BAFTAs: Best British Film and Best Original Screenplay for its British-American co-production. Her best friend had been viciously assaulted and killed, so the young woman sets out to avenge her death in this film.
The BAFTAs have also highlighted the role of women in the film business, and not just in the spotlight positions, by awarding both prizes to British filmmaker Emerald Fennell. The great winner of 2021 was Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland. Besides the best director and cinematography BAFTAs, the film won for best film and Frances McDormand was named best leading actress for her role in the film. The film follows the protagonist, who lost everything in the 2008 recession, as she begins a new life in her van.
Bukky Bakery, on the other hand, took up the rising star award for her role in the low-budget thriller Rocks. In her award speech, the 19-year-old showed real gratitude and insight beyond her years by acknowledging the countless victims who died as a result of COVID-19. On the first day of the two-day BAFTA awards, the film had also won the BAFTA for best casting, with most of the performers in Rocks successfully cast from the streets of east London.
Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra is set to rub shoulders with Hollywood biggies like Hugh Grant, Tom Hiddleston, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Asim Chaudhry, Cynthia Erivo, Anna Kendrick, James McAvoy, David Oyelowo, Sophie Cookson, Phoebe Dynevor, Richard Grant, Felicity Jones, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Pedro Pascal and Jonathan Pryce as a presenter at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Film Awards 2021.
Changing people’s lives and hearts
Another Round, a Swedish-Danish film about drinking that has been winning awards at film festivals all over the world, won the BAFTA for best film, not in English. Micro-dosing alcohol helps a group of middle-aged men stave off their midlife crisis. The film follows this group of guys as they go about their daily lives. The plot takes a tragic turn without resorting to tired tropes or being unduly formulaic in its delivery.
The BAFTA for best-supporting actress went to Korean actress Yuh-Jung Youn for her work in the film Minari. In spite of the fact that it is a US production, the film gives audiences from all walks of life a unique look into the Korean diaspora around the world. BAFTA’s best documentary prize went to My Octopus Teacher. The heartwarming story revolves around a yearlong friendship between an amateur South African scuba diver and an octopus that he forms while diving in the water. As a result of the experience, viewers are able to reassess their perceptions about animals.
It was “that specific tiny octopus” who made the picture feasible in the first place, according to the production crew. This year’s Oscars saw a number of music-related films win numerous honors. The best-animated feature and the best original score went to Disney’s jazz-inspired Soul, while the drama Sound of Metal got the best editing and best sound.
Yours in the digital world
The 75th anniversary of the BAFTAs may necessitate a more creative approach to the awards next year when the majority of the world has had its COVID-19 vaccinations. In London, birthdays are celebrated with a lot of pomp and fanfare, and this one is no exception. All eyes are now on the 2021 Academy Awards, which will take place on April 25, albeit digitally, as this year’s virtual awards season draws to a close.