Next Sunday sees the 75th annual British Academy Film Awards, known as the BAFTAs.
Today I’m going to answer a trio of questions I’ve received from readers around BAFTA-nominated short films.
Q1: Does doing well in shorts lead to features?
The first question comes from Tehri, who asked how many BAFTA-nominated short filmmakers went on to make feature films.
I chose to look at how many people had made a feature film at any point (even before their BAFTA nomination) and to focus it on the role(s) they performed on the nominated short film (i.e. if they wrote the short, we’re interested in they also wrote feature films).
Just over two-thirds of BAFTA-nominated short film directors have also directed a feature film. If we consider that this also includes very recently nominated short film directors, we can expect the true figure to be a little higher over time.
The figures for writers and producers are slightly lower, but still very respectable, at 60% and 61% respectively.
Q2: Are hyphenated folk better filmmakers?
The second BAFTA-realted question was from Tim, who wanted to know if short films made by writer-directors were more likely to win than if they were made by separate writers and directors.
The answer is… yes, but by a tiny margin.
57.3% of BAFTA-nominated short films had at least one writer-director, compared to 65.4% of the winning shorts.
The same cannot be said for writer-producers (18.3% of nominated films vs 17.3% of winning films) and producer-directors (16.1% and 15.4%).
You can read more on this topic in the wider industry here:
- Do writer-directors make better movies than directors who don’t write?
- Which film jobs have the greatest overlap?
- What percentage of directors are writer-directors?
- How common are actor-directors?
Q3: How often do people get BAFTA-nominated on multiple occasions?
The final question for today was from Kate, who asked how common it was for filmmakers to be nominated for a short film BAFTA more than once.
The answer is… very few. Just 6.2% of BAFTA-nominated short film directors have had a second nomination. For writers, it’s just 4.5% and 4.8% for producers.
The people with the largest gap between BAFTA short film nominations are:
- Directing – Lynne Ramsay, who had 15 years between her nominations for Gasman (1998) and Swimmer (2013).
- Producing – Gavin Emerson had 11 years between producing Gasman (1998) and Chalk (2011).
- Writing – Daniel Mulloy, 11 years between writing (and directing) Antonio’s Breakfast (2006) and Home (2017)
You may enjoy this research into feature films writ large (pun much intended):
Unless otherwise stated, all years relate to the BAFTA award year. Most films will have been produced in the year before.
In order to target the research on our core questions, I made some subjective decisions on what types of credits I would include. I defined “Writer” as someone who wrote some of the final screenplay, thereby excluding the authors of adapted materials, translators and people who provided the idea/concept. For producers, I excluded production executives, line producers and executive producers.
This research is looking at the main live-action short film award at the BAFTAs. This has had various names, including “Best Short Film” (1959 to 1971), “John Grierson Award (Short Film)” (1972 to 1978), “Best Short Fictional Film” (1977 and 1978), “Best Short Film” (1979 to 2012) and “Best British Short Film” (2013 to date). It was not awarded in 1969, and today’s research goes up to and includes the 2021 BAFTA awards.