BBC Baftas winner calls for support for Gaza victims as The Zone of Interest producer picks up award

BBC Baftas winner calls for support for Gaza victims as The Zone of Interest producer picks up award

BAFTAs arrivals

Olivia Gantzer

By Olivia Gantzer

Published: 18/02/2024

- 21:03

Updated: 19/02/2024

- 07:30

The star-studded event took place from the Royal Festival Hall in London

The highly-anticipated Baftas (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) 2024 was aired on Sunday, celebrating the best of the last year's movies, writing and directing.

While an array of speeches were made as stars accepted their awards, some were more political than others and as The Zone of Interest producer James Wilson picked up one award, he urged for support for Gaza victims during the current Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

After taking to the stage, Wilson remarked: "A friend wrote me after he’d seen the film the other day [to say] that he couldn’t stop thinking about the walls we construct in our lives which we choose not to look behind.

“Those walls aren’t new. From before or during or since the Holocaust. And it seems stark right now that we should care about innocent people being killed – in Gaza or Yemen, in the same way we think about innocent people being killed in Mariupol or in Israel."

The crowd cheered following the speech, which Wilson made after being presented with the Best Film Not In The English Language category.

The producer went on to conclude: "Thank you for recognising a film that asks you to think in those spaces”.

Jonathan Glazer and James Wilson

The Baftas aired on Sunday evening on BBC One


Speaking on the red carpet ahead of the prestigious awards, Wilson made similar comments while speaking to the PA news agency.

He stated: "There’s obviously things going on in the world, in Gaza, that remind us starkly of the sort of selective empathy, that there seems to be groups of innocent people being killed that we care about less than other innocent people. And that seems so clear.

“Frankly, actually, because we get asked about that a lot, I think that’s always happened.

“In the nine years that we were making the film, things kept happening like that, you know, whether it was the migrant crisis in 2016 when refugees were coming from north Africa and Syria and bodies washing up on beaches.

Jonathan Glazer and James Wilson

James Wilson also commented on 'selective empathy'


“And the difference between how our political elite, how we respond to that compared to refugees from Ukraine, say, there are obviously these walls and I feel that reflected back in the way people, particularly young people, are receiving it.”

The Zone of Interest tells the story Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss and his wife Hedwig as they attempt to create an idyllic family life in a house next to the concentration camp.

For the 96th Academy Awards, the film received five nominations as well as three Golden Globes and nine Baftas. It went on to win three for Outstanding British Film; Film Not in the English Language and Sound.

Elsewhere at the Baftas, the dazzling outfits were launching social media frenzies.


David Tennant

David Tennant hosted this year's Baftas


Host David Tennant was among those catching fans' eyes with his gold and green suit and later his kilt and jacket combination.

The Scottish actor ditched the usual black suit look for the colourful ensemble, and while he left some viewers distracted, others deemed the look "amazing".

Tennant's presenting also saw a mixed response from fans, with some praising his energetic approach and others labelling his jokes "cringe".

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