10/01/2018 10:32 PM IST

Bafta Responds To Critics After Revealing All-Male Best Director Nominee List

Bafta chairperson Jane Lush has answered criticism over the fact the organisation’s 2018 film awards shortlist include an all-male set of Best Director nominees.

Film fans and critics raised eyebrows when the nominees were revealed earlier this week, especially as they came just 48 hours after Natalie Portman’s on-stage comment about the Golden Globes shortlist also being made up entirely of men.

VALERIE MACON via Getty Images
Many critics claimed Greta - pictured with 'Lady Bird' star Saoirse Ronan - had been unfairly overlooked 

With many critics suggesting ‘Lady Bird’ director Greta Gerwig deserved a nod, Jane has now responded.

She told Variety: “Of course we want to see women in the best director category. It is a reflection of the industry to a certain extent and we should be doing something about it, and that’s why we have Bafta Elevate.

“It’s not about blaming people. It’s about what can we do to make it different.”

Bafta Elevate is a scheme “designed to elevate individuals from under-represented groups to the next stage of their career”.

Variety also reported just 16% of the entrants in the director category were women. 

Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw was one of many left dissapointed by Bafta, writing: “It is fantastically depressing that Gerwig did not get a director nomination for her tremendous coming-of-age comedy.”

John Phillips via Getty Images
Jane Lush 

Writing in a HuffPost UK blog earlier this week, Kate Kinninmont - the CEO of Women in Film and Television (UK) - asked the question of why there are “so few women calling the shots behind the camera”.

“In truth, it’s difficult to blame the Awards juries [or] voters,” she wrote. “There aren’t a whole ton of women to choose from.”

‘Lady Bird’ could still triumph on the night though, as Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalfe are nominated for Leading Actress and Supporting Actress, respectively.

The script has also earned Greta a nod in the Best Screenplay category. 

You can see the full list of Bafta 2018 nominees here