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Addressing the Membership - 1948

5 November 2009
BAFTA Archive

Academy Chairman David Lean addresses the membership in a British Film Academy publication dating from 1948.

This small booklet was published in April 1948, just a year after the British Film Academy was founded.

Distributed to the Academy’s 160 members, the booklet contains a typically inspirational message from then BFA Chairman David Lean.

Lean explains that the Academy must be built up by its membership, encouraging each of them to contribute to its aims and objectives: “The British Film Academy can only succeed in its purpose if each of us makes a personal contribution of ideas, criticism and, if necessary, of hard work.“

The publication also contains a statement outlining the history, purpose and activities of the Academy and noting the context into which the BFA has been born: “Now that … the Academy has been founded, it is starting its activities at a period when the prestige of British film production stands higher than at any previous time in its history”.

The booklet goes on to list the Academy’s 160 Members, among them some of the great names of the British film industry, including Douglas Slocombe, Peter Ustinov, Alfred Hitchcock, Sir Alexander Korda and director Mary Field. Interestingly, it points out that “new Members are constantly joining the Academy.”

The final page lists the members of the Academy’s Council Elect and supporting staff.