A crime film set in Ireland and the latest offering from an acclaimed studio in Co Kilkenny are among the contenders for the 74th British Academy Film Awards (Baftas) in the UK.
Bafta chairman Krishnendu Majumdar was joined by Irish comedian Aisling Bea and actress Susan Wokoma to announce the nominations this afternoon.
Dublin actor Barry Keoghan and Westmeath actress Niamh Algar are each nominated for supporting actor and actress awards for their roles in Calm With Horses, a DMC Film and Element Pictures production, which also received a nomination for casting and for outstanding British film. Also in the outstanding British film category are The Dig, The Father, His House, Limbo, The Mauritanian, Mogul Mowgli, Promising Young Woman, Rocks and Saint Maud.
Fantasy film Wolfwalkers from Cartoon Saloon and Melusine Productions is also among the Irish nominees, getting the nod in the animated film category, where it faces Soul and Onward, both made by Pixar. Cartoon Saloon thanked the Bafta awards for its nomination on social media. It missed out on a Golden Globe at last month’s ceremony but has scooped awards in other competitions, including the Dublin Film Critics’ Circle Awards and the Hollywood Critics Association Awards. The animation has been tipped to win the Best Animated Film Oscar this year.
Keoghan faces competition from Daniel Kaluuya, Alan Kim, Leslie Odom Jr, Clarke Peters and Paul Raci in his category while Mullingar native Algar is up against Kosar Ali, Maria Bakalova, Dominique Fishback, Ashley Madekwe and Yuh-Jung Youn. Element Pictures congratulated the pair on their nominations, describing Algar as “fantastic” and Keoghan as “wonderful”.
Anthony Hopkins was nominated for best leading actor for his role in The Father, as was the late Chadwick Boseman for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Nominees for best leading actress include Vanessa Kirby for Pieces of a Woman and Frances McDormand for Nomadland.
Leading the nominations for the 50 films highlighted by the awards body were Nomadland and Rocks, which are each in the running for seven awards. This year, first-time nominees account for four of the six nominated directors and 21 of the 24 nominees in the performance categories.
The best director nominees are Thomas Vinterberg, Shannon Murphy, Lee Isaac Chung, Chloé Zhao, Jasmila Žbanić and Sarah Gavron while best film nominees include Nomadland and The Trial of the Chicago 7. In a first for the Baftas, four women have been nominated in the director category.
Last year’s nominations were criticised over the all-white acting nominees and lack of female directors, which sparked a seven-month review into the lack of diversity led by its chair Majumdar, who described it as “a watershed moment for Bafta”. The awards body said it has introduced more than 120 changes to its voting, membership and campaigning processes this year in an attempt to ensure greater diversity.
The British Academy Film Awards will take place on April 11 and will be broadcast on the BBC.