Bafta voters will undergo mandatory “conscious voter training” and 10 women will be guaranteed a place on the best director longlist, in a shake-up to improve diversity.
This year’s Bafta film awards were mired in controversy because all 20 acting nominees were white, and no women were included in the directing category.
Critics included Bafta’s president, the Duke of Cambridge, who said such lack of diversity “simply cannot be right in this day and age”.
The organisation has issued a new set of rules following extensive consultation with the industry, describing it as a “watershed moment” for Bafta and a “wholesale cultural change”.
They include a bar on actors being nominated more than once in the same category. This year, Scarlett Johansson had two best actress nominations and Margot Robbie appeared twice in the best supporting actress shortlist, leading to accusations that they were taking up space that could be occupied by others.
There was also disquiet that the best director character featured Sam Mendes, Martin Scorsese, Todd Phillips, Quentin Tarantino and Bong Joon-Ho, but had no place for Greta Gerwig, who directed the critically-acclaimed Little Women.
From next year, the director longlist will consist of 10 men and 10 women. Marc Samuelson, chair of Bafta’s film committee, said: “They are being judged on merit, at the shortlist stage there is no guarantee that any of the nominations will be female directors. It’s an intervention early on in the process to ensure a level playing field, rather than to guarantee any particular result.”
Before voting in next year’s awards, Bafta members will be required to undergo conscious voter training in an online session. The aim is to broaden the minds of voters and steer them away from automatically choosing “prestige” pictures, with star names and big marketing budgets.
The longlists for the acting categories will include 12 nominees chosen by Bafta’s actor members, but a special longlisting jury will then add another three contenders chosen “to ensure intersectional diversity”.
Voters will also be required to watch a random group of 15 films, to make sure they see a spread of releases.
Krishnendu Majumdar, chair of Bafta, said: "This is a watershed moment for Bafta. The Academy has neer opened itself up like this before. The sessions with contributors were tough, chastening, captivating and very moving. Many colleagues from under-represented groups bravely shared their experiences of racism and discrimination in their careers.
"Today's announcement marks just the first phase of our process as we evolve as an Academy."
Changes to the voting for the Bafta TV awards will be announced later in the year.