Press Release


24 September 2020

In response to BAFTA’s 2020 Review, Andy Harrower, Directors UK CEO said today:

In January, Directors UK challenged BAFTA to review their voting processes following the lack of representation across BAFTA’s 2020 Film Awards nominations. Today, as their 2020 Review is shared, we’re pleased to see our challenge taken seriously.
We called for radical voting reform across all categories, recognising that the awards process was failing to reflect the diversity of the films being made. To truly serve and represent the breadth of talent working across our industry, a bold and holistic review was needed. The proposed changes to address the lack of representation in their Film Awards and their membership are wide ranging and clearly deeply considered. 
The significant changes that have been made to the directing category to address the historic lack of female representation are a huge step forward for gender equality – it is a levelling up for women that is long overdue and a welcome progression. 
It is not insignificant for a leading institution in the UK screen sector to begin to reform the structures that uphold systemic inequities. We’re delighted that BAFTA have taken action and we look forward to continuing to work closely with them to ensure that these and future changes have a positive and sustained impact across all underrepresented groups. We urge others to be as ambitious in their commitments to address privilege and use their power to achieve equity for all.”
From her perspective as a BAFTA-winning director, Directors UK Vice-Chair Susanna White added: 
Having taken part in the consultations with the 2020 Review Steering Group, I was impressed by BAFTA’s extensive review process; their actions show that they really listened and have taken bold steps as a result. To see this commitment being made by such a significant organisation feels like a seismic shift towards dismantling systems that stand in the way of equality and representation.
As a director, I consider myself very lucky to have worked in film and high-end drama, and to have won a BAFTA for doing that. Even so, like so many of my female contemporaries, throughout my career I feel I have struggled to have my voice heard - and I can only speak to my experience as a woman, I can’t begin to speak to the experiences of my colleagues from other underrepresented groups. Systemic bias works in complex ways and the nature of the BAFTA reforms recognise that.
At Directors UK, we know how hard it is to build a sustainable career in this industry, especially if you come from a less than privileged background, let alone be recognised for that work. It was vital that Directors UK put forward recommendations during the 2020 Review process that attempted to address the inequities felt so acutely by all underrepresented groups. 
I hope that this commitment to change will have wide reaching impacts in terms of gender equality, overcoming barriers for those with disabilities, for racial diversity and provide us all with a massive opportunity to rebuild, from the ground up, an industry that’s fairer and representative of our society.”

    About Directors UK
    Directors UK is the professional association of UK screen directors. It is a membership organisation representing the creative, economic and contractual interests of over 7,500 members – the majority of working TV and film directors in the UK. Directors UK collects and distributes royalty payments and provides a range of services to members including campaigning, commercial negotiations, legal advice, events, training and career development. Directors UK works closely with fellow organisations around the world to represent directors’ rights and concerns, promotes excellence in the craft of direction and champions change to the current landscape to create an equal opportunity industry for all.

Charlie Coombes

Head of PR and Corporate Communications

[email protected]

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