The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is reintroducing a BAFTA award category for best documentary, “in recognition of the number of high-quality theatrical documentaries” being made.
The new category will be simply called “Documentary,” with the first winner to be named at next year’s BAFTA ceremony, which takes place in February 2012.
A theatrical documentary award was presented by BAFTA between 1948 and 1990, but dropped thereafter, with docs recognised in the major film categories only.
In a statement, the organization said: “BAFTA’s Film Committee has chosen to re-introduce this category now in recognition of the number of high-quality theatrical documentaries released in cinemas in the UK each year.
“Films from all countries will be eligible as long as they have a theatrical release in the UK. The award will only usually be presented if 15 or more films are entered.
“A specialist Documentary Chapter of BAFTA Film Voting Members will vote for a longlist of five films during the round one vote and then will vote again in round two to decide the three nominations. The winner will be selected by all Film Voters during round three voting.”
The new category is now open for entry, with full entry rules available here. The entry deadline for the first round is November 17 this year, with the longlist announced January 6, the shortlist unveiled on January 17 and the winner announced on February 12.