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UK film stars compile alternative award list in diversity row

by Sarah Shearman | @shearmans | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Tuesday, 28 January 2020 13:49 GMT

Actor Carey Mulligan arrives for the Canadian premiere of Wildlife at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Toronto, Canada, September 10, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

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Leading actresses drew up an alternative shortlist after award organisers were accused of shutting out women and minorities

By Sarah Shearman

LONDON, Jan 28 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - British film stars including Carey Mulligan and Gemma Arterton have come up with alternative nominees for the BAFTA Film Awards after criticism that this year's list is not diverse enough.

Top industry figures nominated their winners in a campaign organised by Time's Up UK, the group set up to fight sexual harassment, to highlight movies and performances overlooked by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).

"The awards season is upon us and while there are some great films and outstanding performances nominated, there have been glaring omissions," said Time's Up UK Chairwoman Heather Rabbatts in a statement.

"This invisibility is even more shocking given the choices which were available and the strength of films and performances where black talent was apparent this year."

British director Susanna White said it was "disappointing to see so many amazing films by women and people of colour overlooked", citing Greta Gerwig's "Little Women", Mati Diop's "Atlantique" and Chiwetel Ejiofor's "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind".

Mulligan, who won a BAFTA in 2010 for "An Education" and has previously spoken about a lack of diversity in Oscar nominations, said she would give director Lorene Scafaria a BAFTA nod for her film "Hustlers".

The absence of black actors came in for particularly strong criticism when the nominations were unveiled earlier this month, with the hashtag #BAFTASsowhite trending on social media.

BAFTA Chief Executive Amanda Berry has expressed disappointment over the absence of black and female actors and directors among this year's nominees. She said BAFTA was working on a new scheme for women directors.

But the issue extends beyond BAFTA - both the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards have been criticised over a lack of diversity in recent years. Both had all-male shortlists in their directing categories this year.

Also among the films nominated for the alternative BAFTAS were "Portrait of a Lady on Fire" and "Booksmart".

Actors Lupita Nyong'o, Cynthia Erivo, Jennifer Lopez and Jamie Foxx were all named for performances.

(Reporting by Sarah Shearman @Shearmans. Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking and slavery, property rights, social innovation, resilience and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org to see more stories)

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