British Independent Film Awards Go Gender Neutral for Acting Categories

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The British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs) have made all acting prizes gender neutral from this year.

In the BIFAs’ 25th year, the traditional best and supporting actress and actor awards have been replaced by best lead performance, best supporting performance, best joint lead performance — for two (or exceptionally three) performances that are the joint focus of the film — and best ensemble. BIFA’s breakthrough performance award, sponsored by Netflix, remains unchanged. These changes to the acting categories are permanent.

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In addition, BIFA is adding a new debut director category — best debut director, feature documentary. The Douglas Hickox Award for best debut director, sponsored by BBC Film, will now be for fiction features only. The award for best music, which previously recognized both original composition and music supervision, will be separated into best original music and best music supervision.

BIFA directors Amy Gustin and Deena Wallace 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 2022 nominations will be announced on Nov. 3 and the ceremony will take place on Dec. 4.

BIFA 2022 PERFORMANCE CATEGORIES

Best Lead Performance
For performance in a lead role. Up to 10 nominees.

Best Supporting Performance
For performance in a supporting role. Up to 10 nominees.

Breakthrough Performance sponsored by Netflix
For U.K. performers taking their first lead or significant supporting role in a theatrical feature film. Five nominees.

Best Joint Lead Performance
For two (or exceptionally three) performances that are the joint focus of the film, especially where performances share a large number of scenes and screen time. Up to five nominees.

Best Collaborative/Ensemble Performance
For an ensemble performance including lead(s) and exceptional supporting performers OR two or more performers in supporting roles who share significant scenes and screen time. Up to five nominees.

OTHER NEW CATEGORIES

Best Debut Director – Feature Documentary
For a British director for their debut feature documentary. Previous television or fiction feature credits do not disqualify an individual from consideration.

Best Music Supervision
For films in which sourced music makes up at least 40% of the film’s music soundtrack.

Best Original Music sponsored by Universal Music Publishing Group
For films in which original score makes up at least 40% of the film’s music soundtrack.

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