The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is a British charity that hosts annual awards shows for film, television, television craft, video games and forms of animation. They are often cited as the British equivalent to the Oscars, and the British Academy Film Awards are frequently known as the British Academy Awards.
BAFTA's stated charitable remit is to "support, develop and promote the art forms of the moving image, by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public". In addition to high profile awards ceremonies BAFTA runs a year-round programme of educational events including film screenings and tribute evenings. BAFTA is supported by a membership of around 6000 people from the film, television and video game industries. BAFTA's main office is on Piccadilly in London, but it also has branches in Scotland (BAFTA Scotland), Wales (BAFTA Cymru), New York City (BAFTA East Coast) and Los Angeles (BAFTA/LA).
The Academy's awards are in the form of a theatrical mask designed by American sculptor Mitzi Cunliffe, which was commissioned by the Guild of Television Producers in 1955. Since 1989, the Los Angeles branch, BAFTA/LA, holds its own awards ceremony each year, called the Britannia Awards.
BAFTA's main film awards ceremony is known as the BAFTA Awards, in 2008 coming from the Royal Opera House, having taken 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 and Best Newcomer.
The British Academy Television Awards usually take place in April or May, with craft awards having a separate ceremony slightly later in the year.
The Awards are also often referred to simply as "the BAFTAs" or, to differentiate them from the film awards, sometimes as the "BAFTA Television Awards". They have been awarded annually since 1954. The first ever Awards consisted of six categories. Until 1958, they were awarded by the Guild of Television Producers and Directors. From 1958 onwards, after the Guild had merged with the British Film Academy, the organisation was known as the Society of Film and Television Arts. In 1976, this became the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the name the organisation goes under still as of 2007.
From 1968 until 1997, the BAFTA Film and Television awards were presented in one joint ceremony known simply as the BAFTA Awards, but in order to streamline the ceremonies from 1998 onwards they were split in two. The Television Awards are usually presented in April, with a separate ceremony for the Television Craft Awards on a different date. The Craft Awards are presented for more technical areas of the industry, such as special effects, production design, or costumes.
The Awards are only open to British programmes — with the exception of the audience-voted Pioneer Award — but any cable, satellite, terrestrial or digital television stations broadcasting in the UK are eligible to submit entries, as are independent production companies who have produced programming for the channels. Individual performances, such as from actors, can either be entered by the performers themselves or by the broadcasters. The programmes being entered must have been broadcast on or between 1 January and 31 December of the year preceding the Awards ceremony (so, between 1 January and 31 December 2004 for the 2005 Awards).
In 2000, the craft awards (for editing, music, photography, etc.) were separated from the BAFTA television awards. The craft awards now include several categories associated with interactive media. As of 2007, the awards included:
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..
The 2003 winner was Whale Rider.
BAFTA first recognised video games and other interactive media at its inaugural Interactive Entertainment Awards ceremony in 1998, ushering in the first change to its rules since the admittance of television thirty years earlier. Among the first winning games were GoldenEye 007, Gran Turismo and interactive comedy MindGym, sharing the spotlight with the BBC News Online website which won the news category four years running.
The event was split into the BAFTA Video Games Awards and the BAFTA Interactive Awards in 2003, and while high profile winners like Halo 2 and Half-Life 2 made huge headlines, the interactive division was discontinued and disappeared from BAFTA's publicity material after only two ceremonies.
In 2006 BAFTA announced their decision "to give video games equal status with film and television", and ensured that the ceremony held at London's Camden Roundhouse on October 5th was televised for the first time.
The Movies won the Best Video Game Simulation Award in 2006.
The BAFTA/LA awards ceremony, the Britannia Awards, started in 1989 and happens in October/November each year. There are no awards given to films or TV programmes, only to individuals.
During the first ten years only one award was given at each event, called the "Britannia Award for Excellence in Film", but since 1999 the number of awards have grown, and in 2005 they were four: "The Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film" (the original award was renamed in 2000 to honour Stanley Kubrick), "The John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Artistic Excellence in Directing" (added in 2003 in honour of John Schlesinger), "The Britannia Award for Artistic Excellence in International Entertainment", and "The Cunard Britannia Award for Lifetime Contributions to International Film". With the exception of the Stanley Kubrick and John Schlesinger awards, which are always given, both the number of awards and their titles may vary from year to year.
The 2006 recipients were:
The 2005 recipients were:
Previous recipients of the Britannia Awards have included Albert Broccoli, Michael Caine, Peter Ustinov, Martin Scorsese, Anthony Hopkins, Dustin Hoffman, John Travolta, Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Hugh Grant, Peter Weir, Tom Hanks, Angela Lansbury and Helen Mirren.
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