The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has initiated a two-part plan to improve diversity within the British film industry. From 2019, films will only be eligible for two leading BAFTA prizes – British Film and Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer – if they can demonstrate that they "worked to increase the representation of under-represented groups" in at least two of four areas. These areas are: on screen representation, themes and narratives; project leadership and creative practitioners; industry access and opportunities; and opportunities for diversity in audience development. The list of under-represented groups include people from minority ethnic backgrounds, disabled people, women, LGBT people and people from lower socio-economic groups,
Meanwhile, BAFTA has axed an old-fashioned membership requirement which required each new recruit to be proposed by an existing member. “This widens the pool of potential members and ensures that it’s only talent, and not also who you know, that enables BAFTA membership," the Academy said in a statement.
BAFTA's latest intake of new members suggests the Academy is already beginning to improve diversity within its ranks. Of 2016's 375 new members, 43% are female and 18% are from minority ethnic groups. This represents a step up from last year's intake, when 41% of respondents who chose to answer the question were female and 13% were from minority ethnic groups, the BBC reports.