Clara Amfo: 2021 Baftas will celebrate British film industry’s ‘perseverance’ following pandemic

Lizzie Edmonds
·3-min read
<p>Clara Amfo is a host of the 2021 Baftas</p> (Matt Crossick/PA Wire)

Clara Amfo is a host of the 2021 Baftas

(Matt Crossick/PA Wire)

Presenter Clara Amfo has said this weekend’s Bafta awards are proof of the film industry’s “perseverance” in the face of the pandemic.

The broadcaster will join Edith Bowman and Dermot O’Leary to host the 2021 EE Bafta Film Awards, which will be held virtually over two nights - tonight and Sunday.

She said the two-night event would “celebrate people’s great talent” in what has been a difficult year for the performing arts.

The release of several Hollywood blockbusters - including James Bond epic No Time To Die - have been delayed due to pandemic.

Many cinemas - which rely on blockbuster releases to draw in viewers - have been closed for months.

According to the Film and TV Charity, potentially thousands of freelance film workers have lost income with productions delayed or postponed.

Speaking about the Baftas, Ms Amfo said the awards would: “Celebrate what has been our escape over the past year or so. This year I have very much been on the sofa. When you can’t go out on the weekends, you watch a film. I think we have all been unified in that.

“I think it is testament to British film making that people have persevered. We have had whole films made during this time. What you will see is possibility and perseverance and a celebration of people’s great talent.”

Among the British contenders for awards this year are Daniel Kaluuya, Vanessa Kirby and Riz Ahmed.

Actor, writer and director Noel Clarke will be recognised with the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award tonight during a show which will also feature a performance from supporting actor nominee Leslie Odom Jr, who will sing Speak Now from his film One Night In Miami.

The main ceremony on Sunday will be hosted by O’Leary and Bowman, when the remaining 17 awards will be presented and director Ang Lee will be honoured with the Bafta Fellowship.

Presenters, including Hugh Grant, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Tom Hiddleston, will appear in person at the Royal Albert Hall, while nominees will appear virtually.

This year’s Bafta film awards could see a number of historic firsts, thanks to a slate of nominations that have smashed records for diversity and representation.

Two-thirds of the acting nominations are for non-white performers.

The Duke of Cambridge has withdrawn from the awards coverage following the death of his grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh.

William, who is president of Bafta, was due to feature on Saturday in a pre-recorded conversation with costume designer Jenny Beavan and make-up and hair designer Sharon Martin, talking about filming in lockdown and the craft of film-making.

On Sunday, he was to deliver a speech via video, celebrating the resilience of the film industry over the past year.

Bafta said in a statement issued on Friday: “We are deeply saddened by the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, whose close association with the Academy spanned over 60 years.”

Clara Amfo will return as the official EE presenter at the 2021 EE Bafta Film Awards, bringing fans exclusive interviews with the Awards Presenters and Winner Reactions on the night at twitter.com/EE

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