Hopkins and McDormand head diverse Bafta shortlist

London, March 9 (AFP/APP):Anthony Hopkins and Frances McDormand are the biggest names on the Bafta film awards shortlist released on Tuesday, which includes a diverse raft of actors and directors following criticism last year.
Hollywood legend Hopkins is nominated for the prestigious British film award for his performance in “The Father”, in which he portrays a man slipping into dementia.
Fargo actress Frances McDormand is shortlisted for her role in acclaimed independent road movie “Nomadland”, which she also produced, in which she plays a woman who leaves home to travel around the American West.
The film’s Chinese director Chloe Zhao is one of four women on the six-person shortlist for the best director prize.
Also nominated are Shannon Murphy for “Babyteeth”, a 2019 Australian coming-of-age drama, Bosnian Jasmila Zbanic for war film “Quo Vadis, Aida?” and Britain’s Sarah Gavron for “Rocks”.
“Rocks” stars Bukky Bakray as a black London teenager who is left to fend for herself after being abandoned by her mother.
Bakray will go up against McDormand in the best actress category.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts came under fire over a lack of diversity in last year’s line-up with no female directors shortlisted.
Bafta introduced changes to voting and membership processes as a result and the outstanding British film category was expanded to 10 nominations to increase the focus on domestic works.
It also expanded the nominations for best director, actor and actress from five to six for this year’s awards, which were delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman received a posthumous nomination for his performance as troubled trumpeter in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”.
He died of cancer last year, aged 43.
Also nominated in the best actor category is “Rogue One” star Riz Ahmed for his portrayal of a drummer who loses his hearing in “Sound Of Metal”.
“This year’s nominations showcase and celebrate the remarkable range of performances and nominees behind the camera from 50 films and we’re delighted to recognise such high-quality work,” said Krishnendu Majumdar, chair of Bafta.
“After last year’s nominations, we started the Bafta review process with the intention of levelling the playing field and introduced a range of measures to ensure that all entered films were seen by our members and judged on merit.”
The ceremony will take place on April 11.

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