Lack of black Bafta nominees ridiculous, says Blue Story director

This year's Baftas feature an all-white list of acting nominees and there are no female directors up for an award.

The director of Blue Story has labelled the lack of black Bafta nominees as “ridiculous” amid criticism of the diversity in this year’s film awards.

On Twitter #BAFTASSoWhite started trending after it was revealed the awards feature all-white nominees in the four main acting categories, with no female directors being recognised.

Director Rapman (real name Andrew Onwubolu) said that Bafta had “done Blue Story dirty” after his film failed to attract any nominations other than Micheal Ward’s inclusion on a rising star shortlist.

He added: “The lack of black faces is ridiculous.”

In a statement to the PA news agency, he said his film “was good enough and did enough to at least be nominated”.

“The only time black faces are seen in the Baftas is in the rising star category.

“It’s meant to be an award for British films but all they ever seem to do is follow what they think will do well at the Oscars.”

The film, which is a gang drama that follows the lives of two boys caught on opposite sides of a postcode war in London, is Rapman’s directorial debut.

Actress Katie Leung, who starred as Cho Chang in the Harry Potter films, also criticised the awards for their lack of diversity.

“Zero PoC (person of colour) nominees in the acting category?! F is going on man,” she tweeted.

BAFTA Breakthrough Brits – London
Katie Leung has also criticised the awards for their lack of diversity (Ian West/PA)

Bafta chief executive Amanda Berry has expressed regret at the lack of diversity among the nominations.

She told the PA news agency: “Being totally honest, we are disappointed and that is not to take anything away from the people who have nominated.”

She added that she had been encouraged by the diversity of the EE rising star award nominees, which was announced on Monday and includes Awkwafina, Jack Lowden, Kaitlyn Dever and Kelvin Harrison Jr alongside Blue Story’s Ward.

She said: “The group was a much more diverse group of actors and again that is talent at the start of its career, so we are seeing these changes coming through.”

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