BAFTA announces longlists for 2023 awards

Among the MENA titles are 'The Swimmers' and 'Holy Spider', with Polish entry 'EO' also predictably on the list.
BAFTA announces longlists for 2023 awards

BAFTA (the British Academy of Film and Television Arts) today announces the full set of longlists of films and talent that have gone through to Round Two of voting for the 2023 EE BAFTA Film Awards. Round Two voting kicks off today; and will determine the Nominations, to be unveiled via a global livestream on 19 January at 12pm (GMT). Round Three of voting will determine the winners, to be announced on 19 February at the EE BAFTA Film Awards.

Among the nominees with SWANA roots are Iranian serial killer thriller Holy Spider by Ali Abbasi, in the Films Not In English Language category, and Sally El Hosaini's The Swimmers. The latter, in the Outstanding British Film category, has been criticized in the media lately for its portrayal of Syrian refugees, and just goes to prove that the only bad news in film news is no news. A little drama around a title will always help its exposure. In the Films Not in English Language, ‎Jerzy Skolimowski's Polish entry EO and S. S. Rajamouli's Telugu Indian entry RRR.

In Documentaries, we find All That Breathes by Indian helmer Shaunak Sen, and in the Cinematography category Romain Gavras' Athena with Mathias Boucard as DoP. The latter deals with an insurrection at a French housing project development, and stars Sami Slimane and Dali Benssalah, along with an ensemble cast of great actors with roots in the MENA region.

Longlists for 24 categories including Best Film, Cinematography, Casting, Documentary, Film Not in the English Language, the four performance categories, and more, are published here.

BAFTA Film Committee Chair, Anna Higgs, said: “The publication of the EE BAFTA Film Awards Longlist is a very special moment to recognize the wide range of exceptional crafts, performances and productions that make the magic of films a reality. To be Longlisted is a fantastic achievement amidst the phenomenal films released in the last year.  Sharing the list ahead of the Nominations will hopefully inspire the public to watch as many films as possible and join in the conversation as excitement builds for the Awards.”

The nominations for the EE BAFTA Film Awards will be announced via a global livestream hosted by actors Hayley Atwell and Toheeb Jimoh on Thursday 19 January at 12 midday (GMT), from the arts charity’s newly redeveloped HQ at 195 Piccadilly, London.  

The EE BAFTA Film Awards will take place on Sunday 19 February at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall and will be broadcast in the UK on BBC One, BBC One HD and BBC iPlayer and syndicated globally. For the first time, the ceremony will culminate in a live broadcast to reveal the final four category winners, enabling audiences at home to be part of the excitement as it happens. Details of the refreshed format can be found here.

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