BAFTA chairwoman Pippa Harris has hailed female directors as "the future" and said that more needs to be done across the film industry as a whole to improve diversity after this year's awards ceremony was at the centre of a diversity row.

Speaking at the 2020 British Academy Film Awards in London on Sunday night, Harris addressed the lack of recognition for female directors among this year's nominees.

She told the PA news agency: "Although there are no women directors in the main fiction category, there are actually 13 female directors nominated, so for documentary, foreign language film, feature animations, short films, debut directors, and those women, their work should be celebrated, their work is just as important.

"They represent the future of the industry, so actually I think it's quite a positive story but it's sort of got lost in the fact that there's no-one in the main fiction category."

Bafta bosses have also said it is "disappointing" and "infuriating" that all of this year's acting nominees are white.

Harris commented: "We've announced a wide-ranging review, we're going to be looking at everything across the board in terms of the awards process.

"But also I think it's fair to say this is an industry-wide issue. It takes everyone to look at what they're doing.

"Awards are right at the end of a whole process and so we need to look at the types of films being made, the opportunities that people are getting, how the films are being promoted. All of these things play a part."

She said she is confident that it can change in the future, adding: "When you look at previous years, I mean even last year we had Mahershala Ali and Spike Lee.

"It's not as though there are never people of colour winning awards or being nominated, but this year has been very disappointing."

Take a look at the red carpet action from the 2020 BAFTAs here

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