Updated: Nov 19, 2020
It is surrounded by controversies even before the actual ceremony begins. As the nomination for BAFTA was announced, critics were dismayed about not having enough non-white and women candidates. (Golden Globe 2020)
The occasion started at Albert Royal hall In London. The host was the one and only famous Graham Norton, who is a TV host of a very popular show “the Graham Norton show”. Norton is very funny, edgy, and hilarious, but the Irishman was unable to impress his audiences that BAFTA night. I am a huge fan of Norton, but felt a little downhearted; otherwise, the jokes were not that bad either. As his fan, I am not totally disappointed by his handling of the ceremony, but not inspired either. Audiences on their social media account showing dismay and were complaining of cringe-worthy humor. A user put: “I love Graham Norton but he's dying on his a**e despite his best efforts. #BAFTAs.
The nominations and hence winners are the subject of a different time, but the main attraction for me was fellowship award won by Katherine Kennedy, presented by HRH Duke of Cambridge, Prince William. I started noticing this producer's name and bound her with all of my favorite movies. Only now I have learned that she has a production company with my one and only favorite director Stephen Spielberg. I even never realized that what will be the job of producers in the movies, besides finances. Later when my son became immensely interested in Hollywood movies, he told me that many movies were ruined and destroyed by unnecessary studio interferences or egotistical producers; only then I realized how producer shapes the movie, and Katharine Kennedy is one of those who uplift them.
She has started her career as a production associate with Steven Spielberg movie raiders of the last Ark (1981) and became a full producer in E.T (1982). This partnership continued over three decades. Her contribution to the film industry is, no doubt, outstanding. She received several prestigious awards; some of her movies produced with and for Steven Spielberg earned her Academy nominations, such as wars of the world, Munich. (2005) etc. Spielberg’s Lincoln (2012) nominated for 7 golden globes and 12 Academy awards. The two times Academy winner and several times nominated director, none other than Steven Spielberg congratulated her while she received that award.
The reason I am so glad that she did get the fellowship of the BAFTA award is the person like that contributing to the societies at large and to their workplace. They are right people, met the right people at the right time, and then they never took it for granted. The great director Steven Spielberg raised his glass to her, because these are the people who work for passion and not just for money, and even turn an ordinary movie into extraordinary.
Prince William is the president of BAFTA and he too, in his speech, talked about racism. He said: "In 2020, and not for the first time in the last few years, we find ourselves talking again about the need to do more to ensure diversity in the sector and in the awards process - that simply cannot be right in this day and age."
Joaquin Phoenix, who won the best actor award that evening, raised the question of systematic Racism. Many celebrities applauded his bold winning speech on their social media account, like the Oscar and BAFTA-winning (2017) actors of fences, Viola Davis praised him on her twitter account for his solidarity, courage, and honesty.
Racism is an old phenomenon; it’s in our evolution, the slogan “us versus them”. The basic psychology of existence, i.e. the fear of being left behind or being attacked by another unlikely group. It propels us to do the worse and in turn, feel comfortable. Since the dawn of humanity as we started to become civilized some people still believe in class, race, and ethnicity. They are doing everything in a very civilized way to retain racism. People in the Royal Albert Hall have the experience of encountering this appalling hatred one way or the other, but never forgotten and whenever got the chance, they managed to raise their voices. One cannot fight hate with hate.
I would politely state to stop this nonsense. All over the world, Chinese of all backgrounds and nationalities are being attacked for importing Coronavirus to their countries. The stories are horrid and show us how fear, ignorance, not accepting others’ space or status play a role in society. Haven’t we learned any lessons from the wars we have fought as how humanity suffered and people turned into animals? There is a fine line, we all know not to cross, but our hatred sometimes is so strong that we don’t think. The greed to be the number one and to be the superior pulls us towards that hateful attitude, which sometimes leads to crimes and unrest.
No race, color, or person is perfect! We still have time to get out of this mentality.