New BAFTA report spurs action on diversity

01 Mar 2017

It’s been two years since the #OscarsSoWhite row criticised the Academy for institutionalised diversity problems, with the 89th Award Ceremony seeing a varied slate of winners and nominees — concluding with Moonlight taking home best picture, in a triumphant and true Hollywood-style tale.

In what was a crowning moment for African-American filmmakers, Moonlight’s Mahershala Ali picked up the best supporting actor gong last night (the first Muslim to do so), while Viola Davis’s portrayal of an embattled housewife in Fences, also earned her an Oscar.

It comes on the back of a new diversity report released by BAFTA, which looks at career success factors in the screen industries for minority groups. Moonlight actress Naomie Harris and Games Programmer Helana Santos both took part in the revolutionary research project, which has since seen a string of new initiatives announced.

“This research confirms that many practices and mind-sets do create additional barriers for minority groups, but the good news is that the wider industry is acknowledging this,” said SAE film lecturer, Patrick Watremez.

“Just last year, BAFTA announced films competing in two of their categories must comply to BFI Diversity Standards and prove that they have boosted opportunities for ethnic minorities.”

Meanwhile Andrea Martina, who heads up SAE’s gaming department, has long spoken out about a greater gender agenda for the gaming world.

“We know women can strongly help the gaming industry because in order to create original games, agencies need multicultural and mixed teams. The same ratio between men and women helps to create an amazing gaming experience, especially in the design phase.”

Helena Santos encourages people of all ages and backgrounds to consider a career in video games.