From 1959/60, we republish Lord Attenborough’s original application forms to become a member of the Academy.
The document above is a digitised copy of Richard Attenborough’s original application form “for election as a subscribing member” of the Academy. Dated 26 March 1959, it was completed at a time when Attenborough was in the midst of a prolific acting career.
Having already worked on 30 feature films, Attenborough starred in a further four features in 1959, including I’m All Right Jack, Jet Storm and two films by Guy Green – S.O.S Pacific and The Angry Silence – the latter written by Bryan Forbes.
Attenborough has listed some of these career highlights on his application form and it is no wonder the BFA accepted him as “a suitable person for admission to membership of the Academy…”
The British Film Academy was founded in 1947. Eleven years later it merged with the Guild of Television Producers and Directors to form The Society of Film and Television Arts.
The second document on the right-hand side is Attenborough’s subscription renewal form accepting membership of the SFTA. Signed on 15 March 1960, the form lists the cost of membership as £26.02 which included an entrance fee (£2.2.0d.) and a subscription fee (£24).
The SFTA became officially known as The British Academy of Film and Television Arts in 1976 following the opening of new headquarters at 195 Piccadilly. Attenborough’s membership led him to deeper involvement in the Academy’s management, operations and working life. He went on to become Vice-President and then President, a position which he holds today with the same commitment and enthusiasm that characterised his application all those years ago.