The longlists for the 2022 British Academy Film Awards were announced today even as a row brewed among BAFTA members over another issue: HDMI cables. This year, BAFTA officially killed off its practice of mailing physical DVD screeners in favor of releasing films for awards consideration on a year-old, apparently wonky online screening tool called BAFTA View. Watching movies uploaded directly to BAFTA View seems relatively painless, The Hollywood Reporter reports, since you can easily AirPlay the platform right to a smart TV. But piracy concerns have led major film studios to instead toss in links to their own separate screening sites on BAFTA View. You can’t cast those titles from third-party links, prompting BAFTA to recommend that members use HDMI cables and laptops to screen those films on their TVs — and prompting a few members to politely tell that guidance to sod off.
“I refuse to attach a lengthy HDMI cable because we have little children running around,” one member told THR. “And I can’t actually fit it into the TV anyway as it’s attached to the wall — I don’t know how I would do it.” BAFTA, presumably, would dispute any liability in back injuries incurred from resolving these cable-management entanglements, though it does offer an FAQ section to resolve issues like the sound not working.
Nonetheless, members reportedly tore BAFTA’s private Facebook group asunder with their complaints over what an “ugly long HDMI cable” does to interrupt their movie-watching zen. Clearly the rollout could have gone more smoothly, but BAFTA at least “acknowledges that problems exist and says it has provided technical support,” per THR. It insists plenty of its 7,000-ish voters are in fact watching, and only a vocal minority has experienced issues. “The really important thing for us is that we’ve seen an increase in the average number of films being watched by each voter,” the spokesperson told THR. Still, the problem has contributed to a perceived disparity around which movies its members wound up watching to evaluate. Several of the members THR spoke to seemingly gave up trying.