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BAFTA Awards 2024 - From Deepika Padukone presenting to Oppenheimer and Poor Things competing, what to expect from the prestigious British film awards?

The BAFTA Awards are set to showcase diversity, drama, and dazzle as they set the stage for a night of celebration and recognition in the world of cinema.

BAFTA Awards 2024 - From Deepika Padukone presenting to Oppenheimer and Poor Things competing, what to expect from the prestigious British film awards?
David Tennant (Courtesy: BAFTA/Instagram)

Last Updated: 01.51 PM, Feb 18, 2024


On Sunday, in front of an audience that includes directors, movie stars, and the heir to the British throne, the British Academy Film Awards will be presented. Oppenheimer and Poor Things are the main contenders for this year's awards. Christopher Nolan's atom-bomb epic has thirteen nominations for the British prizes, known as BAFTAs, while Yorgos Lanthimos' gothic fantasy has eleven. In terms of the Academy Awards, where it is also considered a frontrunner, Oppenheimer has the same number.

Star-studded attendance and royal presence

Viewers will be keeping a careful eye on the glittery, British-accented Royal Festival Hall ceremony in London for clues as to who might win at the Oscars in Hollywood on March 10, 2024. Presenters including Deepika Padukone, Andrew Scott, Cate Blanchett, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Idris Elba will be joining nominees like Bradley Cooper, Carey Mulligan, Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr., Rosamund Pike, Ryan Gosling, and Ayo Edebiri on the red carpet along the River Thames.

Royal Prince William, who is also head of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, will be the special guest at this event. His wife, Kate Middleton, who underwent abdominal surgery last month and is now healing, will not be able to join him. 

David Tennant takes the stage

David Tennant, star of Doctor Who, will host the evening with a touch of self-deprecating comedy. Regarding the infamously precarious position of awards show host, Tennant said in a statement that people keep telling him he should be terribly nervous. However, the actor feels he is in no way deserving of the recognition; distributing them is all he gets to do. 

Nominations for the EE BAFTA Film Awards have been announced, and two films that have garnered nine nods each are the historical epic Killers of the Flower Moon and the Holocaust thriller The Zone of Interest. Nominations for the following are in the works: Saltburn, a class-war dramedy; All of Us Strangers, a love story tinged with loss; and the boarding school comedy The Holdovers, which each has five. The French courtroom drama Anatomy of a Fall and the Leonard Bernstein biography Maestro each have seven.

Notable snubs and diversity concerns

Although Greta Gerwig did not receive nominations for either best picture or best director, Barbie, who is half of the 2023 box office smash Barbenheimer, did receive five nominations overall. Many believe that the filmmaker, who directed Barbie, should have been nominated for both the BAFTAs and the Oscars.

For the seventh year in a row, no woman was nominated for best director, and all twenty nominees for lead and supporting actor were white. In 2020, the British Film Academy made adjustments to boost the diversity of the awards. Although three female directors—Justine Triet for Anatomy of a Fall, Emerald Fennell for Saltburn, and Celine Song for Past Lives—did not receive nominations for best director, the list does include one woman.

Competition for Best Picture and Best British film

Oppenheimer is competing with Poor Things, Killers of the Flower Moon, Anatomy of a Fall, and The Holdovers in the contest for best picture.

A diverse slate of films, including the class-war dramedy Saltburn, the imperial epic Napoleon, the south London romcom Rye Lane, and the origin tale of a chocolatier Wonka, among others, makes up the distinct category for best British film, which Poor Things is also in.

With Sandra Hüller for Anatomy of a Fall, Mulligan for Maestro, Margot Robbie for Barbie, and Emma Stone for Poor Things, a woman of colour might win the Best Actress BAFTA for the first time with Fantasia Barrino and Vivian Oparah's respective nominations. There are no British nominees for best actor, although Cillian Murphy (for Oppenheimer) and Barry Keoghan (for Saltburn) represent Ireland. With Cooper in Maestro, Colman Domingo in Rustin, Paul Giamatti in The Holdovers, and Teo Yoo in Past Lives, they face off against challenging actors.

Documentary and special honours

Two of the Academy Awards' highest honours—best documentary and best film—have gone to the terrifying 20 Days in Mariupol, a war documentary on the conflict in Ukraine that was co-produced by PBS' Frontline and The Associated Press. Hannah Waddingham of Ted Lasso and Sophie Ellis-Bextor, whose 2001 single Murder on the Dancefloor rose to prominence with its inclusion in Saltburn, will perform during the ceremony.

June Givanni, who founded the June Givanni PanAfrican Cinema Archive, will be awarded for her extraordinary British contribution to cinema, and Samantha Morton will receive the BAFTA Fellowship, the academy's highest honour.

Upcoming ceremony and how to watch

The long-awaited BAFTA Awards are approaching quickly! Join us as we toast the best of British and international film. Get ready for the red carpet moments, exclusive behind-the-scenes content, and the glitter and glamour you've been craving. The time has come to celebrate cinematic greatness with a red carpet event!

On February 18, 2024, at 11:15 p.m. IST, you can watch the EE BAFTA Film Awards live on Lionsgate Play.

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