Nomadland named best by BAFTA

Chloé Zhao's drama takes four awards

by Amber Wilkinson

Frances McDormand as Fern in Nomadland
Frances McDormand as Fern in Nomadland
Chloé Zhao's Nomadland was the big winner at the BAFTAs tonight, scooping four prizes, including Best Film and Best Director.

Frances McDormand, who embarks on a van journey through the American West after the financial crisis, was named Best Actress, while the film also picked up the cinematography award for Joshua James Richards.

Zhao, who is only the second director to win the direction award in 53 years, dedicated the best film to the "nomadic community who so generously welcomed us into their lives".

The ceremony was held at the Royal Albert Hall in London and stars who attended the live red carpet, such as Tom Hiddleston, took off their masks for the photographers but replaced them to enter the building. It was hosted by Edith Bowman and Dermot O'Leary.

None of the nominees at the Royal Albert Hall in person, with most giving their acceptance speeches via video link.

The Best Actor gong went to Anthony Hopkins for Florian Zeller's Alzheimer's drama The Father, with Zeller accepting the award on behalf of the 83-year-old veteran - the fourth BAFTA of his career.

The Supporting Actor honours went to Daniel Kaluuya for Black Panther drama Judas And The Black Messiah and Yuh-Jung Youn, for her role as a impish gran in Minari. Bukky Bakray was also among the acting prizes, winning the Rising Star award for her role in coming-of-age drama Rocks.

Bakray said: "The highlight of this awards journey has been recognition in a category with my fellow nominees, I can’t describe how humbling and what a blessing it is to be put on the same boat as those talented human beings. I’ve got a special appreciation for the rocks family as well. Thank you for seeing something in me that I never saw in myself."

The prize for Best British Film went to Emerald Fennell's revenge thriller Promising Young Woman. She said the film was "a labour of love" that "everyone did pretty much for a packet of crisps".

Brokeback Mountain director Ang Lee received a BAFTA Fellowship.

Best Film

Outstanding British Film

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer

Film Not In The English Language

Animated Film


Original Screenplay

Adapted Screenplay

Leading Actress

Leading Actor

Supporting Actress

Supporting Actor

EE Rising Star Award (voted for by the public)

  • Kingsley Ben-Adir
  • Morfydd Clark
  • WINNER: Bukky Bakray
  • Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù
  • Conrad Khan




Costume Design


Make-up and Hair

Original Score

Production Design

Special Visual Effects


British Short Animation

  • The Fire Next Time
  • WINNER: The Owl and the Pussycat
  • The Song of A Lost Boy

British Short Film

  • Eyelash
  • Lizard
  • Lucky Break
  • Miss Curvy
  • WINNER: The Present

Share this with others on...

Depth and levels Levan Koguashvili on cinematic elements and Georgia’s Oscar submission Brighton 4th

Walking the line James Ashcroft on character ambiguities and Coming Home In The Dark

Bowled over Lyle Kash on creating new narratives and making Death And Bowling

A short dive into Ca' Foscari's competition We look at the short film festival's winners and some of our favourites

'We Lived with Volteo for five years' Monika Kotecka and Karolina Poryzała on their girl power documentary feature The Herd

A Lebanese story Eliane Raheb on showing the filmmaking process and making Miguel’s War

More news and features

We're bringing you news, reviews and interviews from Newfest in New York

We're looking forward to Sci-Fi London, Abertoir and the London Korean Film Festival.

We've recently covered the London Film Festival, Manchester's Grimmfest, the New York Film Festival, the Scottish Queer International Film Festival, the San Sebastian Film Festival, the Glasgow Youth Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival and Deauville and Frightfest.

Read our full for more.

Visit our festivals section.


More competitions coming soon.