The Britannia Awards are BAFTA Los Angeles’ highest accolades, recognizing both outstanding British talent, and exceptional international talent by virtue of their strong connection to the British industry through their body of work. The Britannia Award is the highest accolade presented by BAFTA Los Angeles, and is a celebration of achievement honoring individuals and companies who have dedicated their careers or corporate missions to advancing the art-forms of the moving image in the US, UK and beyond.
The Awards are presented annually at The Britannia Awards gala dinner, where peers and colleagues celebrate the work and accomplishments of the distinguished honorees.
Proceeds from the gala ceremony support BAFTA Los Angeles' ongoing education, outreach and archival projects, as well as raising funds for other chosen charities and organizations.
A Brief History
The first Britannia Award was presented in 1989 to Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli, pioneer producer of the James Bond films. Known as The Britannia Award for Excellence in Film, the honor has subsequently been awarded to Michael Caine, Peter Ustinov, Martin Scorsese, Anthony Hopkins, Miramax Films' Bob and Harvey Weinstein, Dustin Hoffman, John Travolta, Howard Stringer, the late Stanley Kubrick (in whose name the film award is now given), Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Hugh Grant, Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Clint Eastwood, Denzel Washington, Robert De Niro, Jeff Bridges, Warren Beatty, Daniel Day Lewis and George Clooney.
The Britannia Awards Today
Since the gala's inception, the Britannia Awards ceremony has expanded to include additional presentations.
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The John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing is awarded to a director whose work is distinguished by ingenuity. Past recipients have included Anthony Minghella, Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, Danny Boyle, Jim Sheridan, David Yates, Peter Weir, Kathryn Bigelow, Mike Leigh, and Sam Mendes.
The Albert R. Broccoli Britannia Award for Worldwide Contribution to Entertainment is reserved for the few extraordinary luminaries whose careers have had a truly global impact including Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Kirk Douglas, John Lasseter and Sidney Poitier. In 2012, video games pioneer Will Wright became the first ever Britannia Award recipient from the world of Games.
In 2006, the Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year was added to honor outstanding contemporary British talent such as Kate Winslett, Emily Blunt, Rachel Weisz, Tilda Swinton, Michael Sheen, Helena Bonham Carter, Daniel Craig and Benedict Cumberbatch, Emma Watson, and James Corden.
The Britannia Humanitarian Award was created to honor those who have used the moving image to promote charitable causes such as Don Cheadle for his dedication to Rwanda and Darfur and to Richard Curtis who co-created Comic Relief and led the efforts of “Idol Gives Back.” Most recently, the award was presented to Orlando Bloom for his work with UNICEF.
Through a special arrangement with the Chaplin family, in 2010 BAFTA Los Angeles introduced the Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy with Betty White honored for her career spanning over 60 years. Past honorees include Ben Stiller, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. In 2015, the award was presented to Amy Schumer.