The organisation joins MTV Movie Awards, the BRITs and Berlin Film Festival in awarding performances rather than having gendered acting categories.
British Independent Film Awards will go forward this year without gendered acting awards. The organisation has today announced that they’re moving to gender-neutral categories ahead of its 25th anniversary.
Instead of the traditional Best Actress and Best Actor categories, BIFA will now present 5 awards: Best Lead Performance, Best Supporting Performance, Best Joint Lead Performance — for two (or sometimes, rarely three) performances that are the focus of a film — and Best Ensemble. BIFA already has a Breakthrough Performance award that is gender-neutral and will remain unchanged.
As the performance categories now include performers of all genders, there can be up to 10 nominees in each category, while Ensemble and Joint Performance can have up to 5, according to Deadline.
BIFA is also introducing a Best Debut Director – Feature Documentary category, reserved for documentary directors making their first feature film. There’s already the Douglas Hickox Award for Best Debut Director, which will now be exclusively for fiction feature films.
The category of Best Music will now also be divided into Best Original Music and Best Music Supervision. BIFA’s 2022 awards ceremony will take place on December 4, with nominations being revealed on November 3. Aleem Khan’s After Love was the big winner at last year’s awards, taking home Best Film, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Debut Director and Best Screenplay.
“We’re very excited to be able to launch BIFA’s new expanded awards categories which will more fully capture the range of exceptional performances and acting talent in British independent film and allow us to celebrate even more talent than ever before” BIFA Directors Amy Gustin and Deena Wallace said in a statement.