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British Independent Film Awards becomes latest to go gender neutral: Bifa follows the Brits and MTV Movie Awards in scrapping male and female categories
- The MTV movie awards introduced their gender neutral awards in 2017
- BIFA has five awards with zero mention of ‘actor’ or ‘actress’ for their 25th awards
- Two new music awards separate the original award into two up for grabs
- New categories leave out any mention of the winners gender and focus on ‘best’
The Best British Independent Film award presented by Kate Beckinsale at the 24th British Independent Film Awards last year
The British Independent Film Awards plans to use gender neutral acting categories for their 25th anniversary awards in December.
The institution, which has run since 1998, will now award five awards with zero mention of ‘actor’ or ‘actress’,
The move to gender neutral awards has previously been done by the Brit awards and the MTV movie awards who had already dropped gender categories .
The Brit awards stopped using gender categories in February in a bid to make the ceremony as ‘inclusive and relevant as possible’.
The MTV movie awards however were quite ahead of the game when they introduced their gender neutral awards in 2017.
MTV chose to combine male and female nominees in a non-binary category, ‘Best Actor In A Movie’.
Emma Watson won the first ever gender neutral MTV award for her role of Belle in Beauty in the Beast.
Amy Gustin and Deena Wallace, Bifa’s directors said: ‘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.’
The Academy Awards have split their performance categories since the first ‘Oscars’ in 1929, but the first Primetime Emmy Awards in 1949 saw both female and male nominees compete for the Most Outstanding Television Personality category.
Bifa are following in the footsteps of the MTV awards and the Brit awards who have already made their award show categories gender neutral
Bifa’s new performance categories are; best lead performance, best supporting performance, best joint lead performance, best ensemble and breakthrough performance award.
The best lead performance and best supporting performance categories each have up to 10 nominees, while the rest will each have up to five.
Bifa is also adding a new category to the awards: best debut director of a feature documentary, to go with the Douglas Hickox Award for best debut director.
Emma Watson won the first ever gender neutral MTV award for her role as Belle in Beauty in the Beast in the ‘Best Actor In A Movie’ category
Two new music awards which separate the original award into best original music and best music supervision have also joined the Bifa roster.
Contenders for the best original music award must have the original score make up at least 40 percent of the film’s entire soundtrack.
The 2022 Bifa nominations are set to be announced on November 3, then the ceremony takes place on December 4.