2021 BAFTA Film Awards: ‘Nomadland’ is the top winner

April 11, 2021

by Carla Hay

Frances McDormand in “Nomadland” (Photo courtesy of Searchlight Pictures)

With four prizes, including Best Film, the dramatic film “Nomadland” was the top winner at the 74th Annual EE British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the show was a virtual ceremony held at Royal Albert Hall in London. The show was also split between two broadcasts on April 10 and April 11, 2021. BBC televised the show in the United Kingdom, and BBC America televised the show in the United States. Edith Bowman and Dermot O’Leary hosted the ceremony.

The April 10 broadcast (on BBC Two in the U.K.) was for technical categories, such as editing and production design. The April 11 broadcast (on BBC One in the U.K.) was for the more high-profile categories, such as all the actor/actresses categories, Best Director, Best Film and Outstanding British Film. Eligible films were those released in the United Kingdom in 2020 or January and February 2021.

Searchlight Pictures’ “Nomadland” is about an American widow named Fern (played by Frances McDormand), who lives in her van and travels to look for work. The movie also won BAFTAs for director Chloé Zhao (Best Director), McDormand (Best Leading Actress) and Best Cinematography. “Nomadland” went into the ceremony with seven nominations. Daniel Kaluuya of “Judas and the Black Messiah” won the prize for Best Supporting Actor, while Yuh-Jung Youn of “Minari” received the award for Best Supporting Actress. Ang Lee received the BAFTA Fellowship Award, which is for non-competitive prize for career achievement.

Other movies that won multiple awards, with two each, were Sony Pictures Classics’ drama “The Father,” Focus Features’ dark comedy/drama “Promising Young Woman,” Netflix’s drama “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Amazon Studios’ “Sound of Metal” and Pixar Animation Studios’ “Soul.”

“The Father” star Anthony Hopkins received the prize for Best Leading Actor, while screenwriter Florian Zeller (who also directed the movie) won the award for Best Adapted Screenplay. “Promising Young Woman” was named Best British Film, while screenwriter Emerald Fennell (who also directed the movie) got the prize for Best Original Screenplay. “Ma Rainey’s “Black Bottom” won for Best Costume Design and Best Make Up and Hair. “Sound of Metal” took the prizes for Best Editing and Best Sound. “Soul” won the awards for Best Animated Film and Best Original Score.

Altitude Film Entertainment’s “Rocks” (directed by Sarah Gavron and staring Bukky Bakray) also had seven nominations going into the ceremony, but only won one: Best Casting. Bakray won the EE Rising Star Award, which is the only BAFTA film award voted for by the public, and the prize is for an individual’s career achievement, not a specific movie.

Here is the complete list of winners and nominations for the 2021 BAFTA Film Awards:


Best Film

“The Father”
“The Mauritanian”
“Promising Young Woman”
“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Outstanding British Film

“Calm With Horses”
“The Dig”
“The Father”
“His House”
“The Mauritanian”
“Mogul Mowgli”
“Promising Young Woman”*
“Saint Maud”

Best Director

Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”)
Sarah Gavron (“Rocks”)
Shannon Murphy (“Babyteeth”)
Thomas Vinterberg (“Another Round”)
Jasmila Žbanić (“Quo Vadis, Aida?”)
Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”)*

Best Leading Actor

Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”)
Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)
Adarsh Gourav (“The White Tiger”)
Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”)*
Mads Mikkelsen (“Another Round”)
Tahar Rahim (“The Mauritanian”)

Best Leading Actress

Bukky Bakray (“Rocks”)
Radha Blank (“The Forty-Year-Old Version”)
Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”)*
Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”)
Wunmi Mosaku (“His House”)
Alfre Woodard (“Clemency”)

Best Supporting Actor

Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)*
Barry Keoghan (“Calm With Horses”)
Alan Kim (“Minari”)
Leslie Odom Jr. (“One Night In Miami…”)
Clarke Peters (“Da 5 Bloods”)
Paul Raci (“Sound of Metal”)

Best Supporting Actress

Niamh Algar (“Calm With Horses”)
Kosar Ali (“Rocks”)
Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”)
Dominique Fishback (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)
Ashley Madekwe (“County Lines”)
Yuh-Jung Youn (“Minari”)*

Best Adapted Screenplay

Moira Buffini (“The Dig”)
Christopher Hampton, Florian Zeller (“The Father”)
Rory Haines, Sohrab Noshirvani, M.B. Traven (“The Mauritanian”)
Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”)*
Ramin Bahrani (“The White Tiger”)

Best Original Screenplay

Tobias Lindholm and Thomas Vinterberg (“Another Round”)
Jack Fincher (“Mank”)
Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”)*
Theresa Ikoko and Claire Wilson (“Rocks”)
Aaron Sorkin (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”)

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer

Remi Weekes (“His House”)*
Ben Sharrock, Irune Gurtubai (“Limbo”)
Jack Sidey (“Moffie”)
Theresa Ikoko, Claire Wilson (“Rocks”)
Rose Glass, Oliver Kassman (“Saint Maud”)

Best Original Score

Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross (“Mank”)
Emile Mosseri (“Minari”)
James Newton Howard (“News of the World”)
Anthony Willis (“Promising Young Woman”)
Jon Batiste, Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross (“Soul”)*

Best Cinematography

Sean Bobbitt (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)
Erik Messerschmidt (“Mank”)
Alwin H. Küchler (“The Mauritanian”)
Dariusz Wolski (“News of the World”)
Joshua James Richards (“Nomadland”)*

Best Film Not in the English Language

Thomas Vinterberg, Sisse Graum Jørgensen (“Another Round”)*
Andrei Konchalovsky, Alisher Usmanov (“Dear Comrades!”)
Ladj Ly (“Les Misérables”)
Lee Isaac Chung, Christina Oh (“Minari”)
Jasmila Žbanić, Damir Ibrahimovich (“Quo Vadis, Aida?”)

Best Documentary

Alexander Nanau (“Collective”)
Alastair Fothergill, Jonnie Hughes, Keith Scholey (“David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet”)
Bryan Fogel, Thor Halvorssen (“The Dissident”)
Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed, Craig Foster (“My Octopus Teacher”)*
Jeff Orlowski, Larissa Rhodes (“The Social Dilemma”)

Best Animated Film

Dan Scanlon, Kori Rae (“Onward”)
Pete Docter, Dana Murray (“Soul”)*
Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart, Paul Young (“Wolfwalkers”)

Best Casting

Shaheen Baig (“Calm with Horses”)
Alexa L. Fogel (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)
Julia Kim (“Minari”)
Lindsay Graham Ahanonu, Mary Vernieu (“Promising Young Woman”)
Lucy Pardee (“Rocks”)*

Best Production Design

Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana Macdonald (“The Dig”)
Peter Francis, Cathy Featherstone (“The Father”)
Donald Graham Burt, Jan Pascale (“Mank”)*
David Crank, Elizabeth Keenan (“News of the World”)
Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer (“Rebecca”)

Best Costume Design

Michael O’Connor (“Ammonite”)
Alice Babidge (“The Dig”)
Alexandra Byrne (“Emma”)
Trish Summerville (“Mank”)
Ann Roth (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)*

Best Make Up and Hair

Jenny Shircore (“The Dig”)
Patricia Dehaney, Eryn Krueger Mekash, Matthew Mungle (“Hillbilly Elegy”)
Matiki Anoff, Larry M. Cherry, Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)*
Kimberley Spiteri, Gigi Williams (“Mank”)
Mark Coulier (“Pinocchio”)

Best Editing

Yorgos Lamprinos (“The Father”)
Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”)
Frédéric Thoraval (“Promising Young Woman”)
Mikkel E.G. Nielsen (“Sound of Metal”)*
Alan Baumgarten (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”)

Best Sound

Beau Borders, Christian P. Minkler, Michael Minkler, Warren Shaw, David Wyman (“Greyhound”)
Michael Fentum, William Miller, Mike Prestwood Smith, John Pritchett, Oliver Tarney (“News of the World”) Sergio Diaz, Zach Seivers, M. Wolf Snyder (“Nomadland”)
Coya Elliott, Ren Klyce, David Parker (“Soul”)
Jaime Baksht, Nicolas Becker, Phillip Bladh, Carlos Cortés, Michelle Couttolenc (“Sound of Metal”)*

Best Visual Effects

Pete Bebb, Nathan McGuinness, Sebastian von Overheidt (“Greyhound”)
Matt Kasmir, Chris Lawrence, David Watkins (“The Midnight Sky”)
Sean Faden, Steve Ingram, Anders Langlands, Seth Maury (“Mulan”)
Santiago Colomo Martinez, Nick Davis, Greg Fisher (“The One and Only Ivan”)
Scott Fisher, Andrew Jackson, Andrew Lockley (“Tenet”)*

Best British Short Animation

Renaldho Pelle, Yanling Wang, Kerry Jade Kolbe (“The Fire Next Time”)
Mole Hill, Laura Duncalf (“The Owl and the Pussycat”)*
Daniel Quirke, Jamie MacDonald, Brid Arnstein (“The Song of a Lost Boy”)

Best British Short Film

Jesse Lewis Reece, Ike Newman (“Eyelash”)
Akinola Davies, Rachel Dargavel, Wale Davies (“Lizard”)
John Addis, Rami Sarras Pantoja (“Lucky Break”)
Ghada Eldemellawy (“Miss Curvy”)
Farah Nabulsi (“The Present”)*

EE Rising Star Award (public vote)

Bukky Bakray*
Kingsley Ben-Adir
Morfydd Clark
Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù
Conrad Khan

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