The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), is a British organization that hosts annual awards shows for film, television, children's film and television, and interactive media.
BAFTA was founded in 1947 as The British Film Academy. In 1958, BFA incorporated the Guild of Television Producers and Directors in a merger to form The Society of Film and Television, which later became The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) in 1976. The British Film Academy's founders include David Lean, Alexander Korda, Carol Reed, and Charles Laughton.
The Academy's trophies are in the form of a theatrical mask designed by American sculptor Mitzi Cunliffe, commissioned by the Guild of Television Producers in 1955.
BAFTA's main office is on Piccadilly in London, but it also has branches in Northern England, Scotland, Wales, New York City and Los Angeles.
BAFTA's main film awards ceremony is known as the British Academy Film Awards, taking place since 2000 in the flagship Odeon cinema on Leicester Square. The ceremony used to take place in April or May, but from 2002 onwards it takes place in February in order to precede the Oscars. The awards are mostly open to all nationalities, though there is an award for best British film.
Winners at the 2002 British Academy Film Awards included: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (best film); Gosford Park (Alexander Korda award for the Outstanding British film of the year); Peter Jackson (David Lean award for achievement in Direction); Judi Dench (best actress); and Russell Crowe (best actor).
Winners at the 2003 British Academy Film Awards included: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (best film); Touching the Void (best British film); Peter Weir (direction); Scarlett Johansson (best actress); and Bill Murray (best actor).
See BAFTA Award for Best Picture, BAFTA Award for Best Actor,
The British Academy Television Awards take place in April, with craft awards having a separate ceremony in May.
Among the 2002 winners were the office comedy The Office and its star Ricky Gervais; souped-up talent contest Pop Idol; the long-running soap EastEnders; popular romantic comedy-drama Cold Feet; best actress Julie Walters and best actor Michael Gambon. Julie Walters, Ricky Gervais and The Office were repeat winners at the 2003 awards in April 2004; other winners included Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Little Britain, and, as best actor, Bill Nighy.
The British Academy Children's Film and Television Awards were established in 1995, and are presented in November. The 2002 winner of best feature film was Monsters, Inc, which beat nominees The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Stuart Little 2. The 2003 winner was Whale Rider, with subsequent episodes of Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings among the runners up. In 2004 the boy wizard eventually stepped out of the shadows as Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban took the award, while the Tolkien saga lost yet again. TV winners in 2004 included Balamory and Dick and Dom in da Bungalow.
The BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Awards were first presented in 1998, and cover websites, computer and video games, and other multimedia. Winners ranged from BBC News Online to Gran Turismo 3. In 2003, these awards were split into the BAFTA Interactive Awards and the BAFTA Games Awards.
- BAFTA official site (http://www.bafta.org/)
- Museum of Broadcast Communications: BAFTA (http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/B/htmlB/britishacade/britishacade.htm)
- IMDb: BAFTA (http://www.imdb.com/Sections/Awards/British_Academy_Awards/)