Monday, 15 February 2016


“There’s a lot of great movies that have won the Academy Award, and a lot of great movies that haven’t. You just do the best you can.” - Clint Eastwood

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image – film, television and game in the United Kingdom. In addition to its annual awards ceremonies, BAFTA has an international, year-round programme of learning events and initiatives offering access to talent through workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes in the UK and the USA.

BAFTA started out as the British Film Academy, was founded in 1947 by a group of directors David Lean, Alexander Korda, Roger Manvell, Laurence Olivier, Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell, Michael Balcon, Carol Reed, and other major figures of the British film industry. David Lean was the founding Chairman of the Academy. The first Film Awards ceremony took place in May 1949 and honouring the films “The Best Years of Our Lives”, “Odd Man Out” and “The World Is Rich”.

The Guild of Television Producers and Directors was set up in 1953 with the first awards ceremony in October 1954, and in 1958 merged with the British Film Academy to form the Society of Film and Television Arts, whose inaugural meeting was held at Buckingham Palace and presided over by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. In 1976, HM The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Princess Royal and The Earl Mountbatten of Burma officially opened the organisation’s headquarters at 195 Piccadilly, London, and in March the Society officially became known as the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

BAFTA’s annual film awards ceremony is known as the British Academy Film Awards, or “the BAFTAs”, and reward the best work of any nationality seen on British cinema screens during the preceding year. In 1949 the British Film Academy, as it was then known, presented the first awards for films made in 1947 and 1948. Since 2008 the ceremony has been held at the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden, having previously been held in the Odeon cinema on Leicester Square since 2000. The ceremony previously was performed during April or May of each year, but from 2002 since it has been held in February to precede the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ (AMPAS) Academy Awards, or Oscars.

In order for a film to be considered for a BAFTA nomination its first public exhibition must be displayed in a cinema and it must have a UK theatrical release for no fewer than seven days of the calendar year that corresponds to the upcoming awards. A movie must be of feature length and movies from all countries are eligible in all categories, with the exception of the Alexander Korda Award for Outstanding British Film and Outstanding Debut, which are for British films or individuals only.

The 69th BAFTAs Award Ceremony was held on 14 February 2016 at the Royal Opera House in London. The nominees were announced on 8 January 2016 by Stephen Fry and actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw, with “Bridge of Spies” and “Carol” both having the most nominations at 9 each.  The ceremony was broadcast on BBC One with a two hour delay. The ceremony was watched by 4.5 million people, down from 4.9 million viewers in 2015 and the lowest television audience since 2010.

Despite leading the field in nominations with nine each, “Carol” failed to gain any awards and “Bridge of Spies” won only one; Mark Rylance for Best Supporting Actor. The American film “The Revenant” won the most awards at the event, winning five including Best Film. Director Alejandro G. Iñárritu won the award for Best Director, Emmanuel Lubezki for Best Cinematography and Leonardo di Caprio won the award for Best Actor. Di Caprio's win was his first from four nominations. Lubezki's win was his third consecutive BAFTA, and fourth in total, having previously won awards for “Children of Men”, “Gravity” and “Birdman”. Other winners in the acting categories included Brie Larson, who won Best Actress for her role in “Room”, and Kate Winslet, who won Best Supporting Actress for her role in “Steve Jobs”. Winslet’s win was her third BAFTA. “Mad Max: Fury Road” won four BAFTAs in the editing, production design, costume design and makeup and hair categories. Sidney Poitier was awarded the Academy Fellowship for his contribution to cinema.

Many people regard the BAFTAs as the event to watch in order to predict possible winners for the Oscars, and although there are often concordances, in many other cases the awards are quite disparate. The full list of BAFTA Awards can be found on their website (

1 comment:

  1. 'The Revenant'? Ugh! Plot is so obvious! Dialog is stupid. Character development non-existent. Wasted my time...