Digital-only releases to be considered at next year's Bafta film awards

By Gillian West | Social media manager

August 20, 2016 | 2 min read

The growing dominance of video-on-demand services like Netflix and Amazon has led Bafta to reconsider its awards eligibility rules.

According to its guidelines for the 2017 awards, Bafta has said: "films should have been screened to the widest possible public paying UK audience" however, in "exceptional circumstances" digital only releases could be considered.

Speaking of the changes Bafta's head of film, Jim Bradshaw, told Variety the film committee wanted primary distribution to be through cinemas admitting they would be "biased towards that."

"We have to respond to the reality that - particularly for independent films and the non-British independent films coming into the UK - theatrical release is less common and digital distribution is becoming more and more the norm," Bradshaw added.

In October 2015, Netflix released original film 'Beasts of No Nation' starring Idris Elba with a number of movie releases taking place throughout 2016.

Eligible films for Bafta nominations should have been released for at least a week on at least 10 screens in the UK, with relaxed rules for documentaries, non-English language films and debut features.

The Bafta Film Awards will take place on 12 February, with nominations announced on 10 January.


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