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Will BAFTA's Trim to Two Voting Rounds Oscarize Awards?

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood June 26, 2012 at 3:16PM

BAFTA announced today a major reworking of its 2013 British Academy Awards votings system. The most radical difference is that there will now be two rounds of polling, as opposed to three.
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BAFTA

BAFTA announces a major reworking of its 2013 British Academy Awards votings system. The most radical difference is that there will now be two rounds of polling, as opposed to three.

This means the first round of votes (deadline January 4) will determine the nominees, and the second round (early February) will determine the winners. Previously, the first January deadline only narrowed down contenders to a longlist of fifteen names, which then had to be winowed to five nominations.

Also for the first time, BAFTA's entire membership will vote for the winners in each of the eleven "below-the-line" categories. The nominees in those categories, however, will have been selected by the specific BAFTA chapters. These below-the-line categories include adapted and original screenplay, direction, cinematography, editing, costume design, makeup and hair, original music, production design, sound and special visual effects.

This switches the old system, where the entire membership voted on the first and second rounds and only the chapters voted on the winners.

Variety reports that those opposed to the changes fear the new system will Oscar-ize the BAFTAs. There could be a lack of field-specific nuance, with a few popular films sweeping the awards.

This article is related to: BAFTA, Awards


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.