BAFTA Quits Britannia Awards and Introduces Special Awards in the US Year-round

BAFTA Quits Britannia Awards and Introduces Special Awards in the US Year-round

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BAFTA is expanding its US awards business with the year-round presentation of special awards to recipients in North America.

BAFTA Special Awards are honorary awards given to those who have made significant contributions to film, games and television through a particular project or their entire body of work. The Special Awards, including the Outstanding Contribution to Cinema Award and the Fellowship Award, are a mainstay of the British Academy awards.

BAFTA says these year-round awards are an “evolution” of the Britannia Awards ceremony, an event previously held once a year in Los Angeles and most recently held in 2019. The organization has made it clear to Variety that the Britannias will not be canceled per se, but rather will take a different form as more prizes are awarded during the calendar year.

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Special Awards recipients in North America will receive the signature BAFTA mask and presentations will take place throughout the year at bespoke events in various cities. The inaugural event is expected to be held in Los Angeles, although the timing has not yet been announced. Details of the first recipient are expected soon.

Special awards are “in the gift” from BAFTA and recipients may be nominated by members, the industry committees and the BAFTA North America Board, chaired by Kathryn Busby.

The move follows BAFTA’s assessment of the awards ceremony, and a year after the organization expanded its operations in North America, including expanding membership benefits, growing its learning, inclusion and talent programs, and an inaugural presence at the Toronto International Film Festival.

BAFTA has been present in the US since the founding of BAFTA Los Angeles in 1987, followed by BAFTA New York in 1996. The British Academy has nearly 2,000 members in North America and its activities include screenings and questions and answers at tea parties, the BAFTA Breakthrough USA event, the Yugo BAFTA Student Awards, the US Newcomers Program, scholarships and the Vance Byrd Mentorship program.

BAFTA North America Chairman Busby said: “This is an incredibly exciting moment for BAFTA as we expand and expand our awards and activities. Creating the opportunity to award awards and celebrate excellence in more locations throughout the year was a priority for our Board of Directors this year as we expand BAFTA’s mission and activity in North America, so we are excited to announce this new direction now.”

Matthew Wiseman, Executive Director and Head of North America for BAFTA, said: “Capturing the same spirit and warmth of the Britannia Awards event and now awarding awards throughout the year and in different cities is an exciting prospect. that will enable BAFTA to celebrate those who have made exceptional contributions to our industry in even more impactful and unique ways.We will also be able to use these moments to further inspire future generations of talent in our industry, many of whom in turn will be supported by BAFTA’s many learning, inclusion and talent programs worldwide.”

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