Do Brits win more at the Baftas?

The awards show takes place on Sunday, 18 February

Brits have dominated the Baftas in the past, with previous winners including Dev Patel and Rachel Weisz. (Getty Images/PA Images)
Brits have dominated the Baftas in the past, with previous winners including Dev Patel and Rachel Weisz. (Getty Images/PA Images)

The Baftas, also known as the British Academy Film Awards, is always good at celebrating homegrown talent, even going so far as to have categories specifically catered towards British films and directors, but can it be said that the event favours Brits?

Ahead of this year's ceremony, Yahoo will look back at the event's 74 year history and how British actors, directors, and films have tended to do in years past and what it could mean for the 2024 nominees. Here is everything you need to know.

Do the Baftas favour Brits?

Winner: Olivia Colman - The Favourite, EE British Academy Film Awards 2019.Date: Sunday 10 February 2019.Venue: Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London.Host: Joanna Lumley.-.Area: Ceremony.Category: LEADING ACTRESS (Photo by Guy Levy/BAFTA via Getty Images)
Olivia Colman won a Bafta for The Favourite in 2019. (Getty Images)

When it comes to the awards show there are two countries that have dominated over the years: The UK and the US. The next country to be most rewarded at the Baftas is France, followed closely by Australia, Italy and Ireland.

Read more: How to watch the 2024 Baftas

Given the Baftas is representative of Western audiences, and is so closely associated with the Oscars, it stands to reason that the awards ceremony would favour the UK and US over others. Wins for British talent comprises 47% of all wins by the awards show and Americans constitute 31% of wins overall.

It was not until 1953 that the Baftas began handing out awards to actors, with the event having two different awards for British actors and Foreign actors. This changed in 1969 when the awards ceremony merged the categories together to have awards for just Best Leading Actor and Actress, and Best Supporting Actor and Actress.

In 1969, the winners were split evenly between wins for British and American actors as Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn won in the leading category, while Ian Holm and Billie Whitelaw won in the supporting categories. From then on it has been an interesting mix of wins per country, with some years dominated by US talent — such as in 1972 when Brits swept the board with acclaimed films Sunday, Bloody Sunday and The Go-Between.

In recent years, British talent to win at the Baftas have included Olivia Colman and Rachel Weisz, who both won for their respective roles in The Favourite, Daniel Kaluuya for his performance in Judas and the Black Messiah, and Sam Mendes for directing 1917.

2023 saw talent from a wide range of countries win, with American Austin Butler winning Best Leading Actor, Australian Cate Blanchett winning Best Leading Actress, and Irish actor Barry Keoghan winning Best Supporting Actor, to name a few. 2024 could be a year of celebrating British talent thanks to Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer.

Read more: Who are the favourites to win at the 2024 Baftas?

In terms of gender, the data tells another interesting story — though perhaps not a surprising one. Similar to other awards shows, the Baftas have favoured men over women when it comes to categories where either could be nominated. This is an industry wide trend though, as it tends to be harder for women to break out in the entertainment industry in positions like directing, cinematography and more.

February 19th, 2023. London, UK Emma Mackey wins EE Rising Star at the 2023 EE BAFTA Film Awards, Royal Festival Hall, London. Credit: Doug Peters/EMP
British star Emma Mackey won the EE Rising Star in 2023. (EMP)

When it comes to the Baftas, the Best Director category has only been won three times by women, which represents just 5% of the total. The awards ceremony also had prizes like Most Outstanding Newcomer, which is now referred to as the Rising Star award, which has also predominantly been won by men — in 2023 the prize was won by Sex Education star Emma Mackey.

The 2024 edition of the awards show marks a change to this trend for the EE Rising Star Award as the nominees for the category are mainly women. Phoebe Dynevor, Ayo Edebiri, Jacob Elordi, Mia McKenna-Bruce and Sophie Wilde are all nominated, with the winner being determined by public vote.

The 2024 Bafta Film Awards will take place on Sunday, 18 February from 7pm on BBC and BBC iPlayer.