The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has announced its nominees for the 2021 season and in a complete 180 from last year, the nominees are diverse as hell! Whether BAFTA has finally become ready to fully acknowledge the vast array of superb talent that exists or it has just grown weary of the backlash and consistent disappointment, the world may never know! But what we do know is that the folks up for awards this year are worth every accolade. So without further ado, let’s get into it!
Since it’s Black Herstory Month, let’s lead with the ladies, shall we? Per Deadline, The Forty Year-Old Version’s Radha Blank and Clemency’s Alfre Woodard both secured noms in the Leading Actress category along with Buuky Bakray and Wunmi Mosaku for Rocks and His House, respectively. Rock’s Kosar Ali also nabbed a nom for Supporting Actress, as did Dominique Fishback for her masterful portrayal of Deborah Johnson, girlfriend to Chairman Fred Hampton (brilliantly brought to life by Daniel Kaluuya btw) in Judas and The Black Messiah.
“As I dropped my final piece of luggage on the floor of my new “home” I got wind of my first Supporting Actress BAFTA Award nomination. I have been in shock and processing ever since,” Fishback wrote in a series of tweets on Twitter.
“I didn’t understand my own silence. I still don’t but what I do know is that I am elated by this recognition because this film and these people means the world to me. Deborah Johnson is a role that has transformed my ability to love and be loved. To see and be seen. I love her. Thank you to the British academy @bafta for this nomination because it reinforces the notion that presence doesn’t always have to be loud to be worth hearing! I am so appreciative.”
She continued, “I want to thank Mama Akua fka Deborah Johnson for her -body shielding- revolutionary love and Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. for trusting us with such a legacy. Chairman Fred deserved more and my cast and crew are forever honored to shed light on his work and the work of the Black Panther Party. So much love to the dream team! Shaka, Charles, Ryan, Zinzi, Niija! Macro, Proximity and Warner brothers. Congratulations to DANIEL KALUUYA - always rooting for you and congratulations to my fellow nominees. And thank you to all you guys that were equally happy to see my name up there too.”
Sliding over to the Supporting Actor category, we’ve got three talented men who are vying for the win: Leslie Odom Jr. for his role as Sam Cooke in Regina King’s One Night in Miami, Clarke Peters for Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, and Daniel Kaluuya for the aforementioned Shaka King-directed film. Judas is also nominated for Cinematography and Casting as well.
As expected, Chadwick Boseman scored another posthumous nom for Leading Actor in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The film also scored additional nominations from Costume Design and Makeup & Hair. And speaking of score, Kemp Powers’ Soul is up for Best Score and Sound this year. (Which if it wasn’t I honestly wouldn’t know what to do.) It’s a film about—a lot of things really but specifically—jazz. It only makes sense.
Last but not least, Kingsley Ben-Adir is up for the Rising Star Award, due largely in part to his amazing portrayal of Malcolm X in One Night in Miami.
The 2021 BAFTA Awards will be held virtually on Sunday, April 11, and will be broadcast on BBC Two and BBC Two HD.