Spring never seems to last as long as we hope before the heat of the summer comes, but here at BAFTA we have been making good use of the time. I hope you have managed to attend some of the events we have had in the last three months.
Our first In Conversation event with Benedict Cumberbatch was followed by the second event with Hugh Dancy, star of NBC's Hannibal, who was joined in the audience by his wife Claire Danes. Once again there was great conversation and good humor in a wonderful setting, supported by British Airways and The Standard, High Line. We hope to be announcing more of these In Conversation events in the near future.
We also launched another new strand called Brits Who Cracked America. The auditorium of the Crosby St. Hotel was packed to hear from a great panel chaired by Rob Sharenow, general manager of Lifetime Network, and featuring three Brits who have cracked America - Simon Andreae of Fox, Frances Berwick of Bravo Oxygen Media and Michael Davies, of Embassy Row, who successfully imported big hits like “Who Wants to be A Millionaire” and “Wife Swap.” Best line was from Simon who revealed that Discovery only consented to producing their reality hit, “Naked and Afraid,” when he showed them that these were the words used by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Watch out for more in this strand.
During the spring we also brought across the pond three talented people in our Brits to Watch program that introduces them to networks and producers here in New York and discuss their work at the Soho House. The featured artists and films were: BAFTA Award winning director, Amma Asante (Belle) Director/writer Kieran Evan (Kelly + Victor) and Director/writer Hong Khaou (Lilting). We enjoyed the annual British Situation Comedy screenings at the Friars Club and hosted 16 film screenings including a Q & A with Tom Hardy for his new movie Locke.
Coming up we look forward to a special event in early September to mark the launch of the documentary Rebuilding the World Trade Center and in late August we are hoping to have a special event with the incomparable Michael Sheen to celebrate Series 2 of Showtime's “Masters of Sex.”
With all this good stuff, if you haven't renewed your membership yet, please do it now, as you don't want to miss out on these events and our packed screenings program coming up in the fall. If you have not done so yet, please do so today!
+ BAFTA New York hosted the other BAFTA chapters from London, LA and Glasgow, marking the fact that BAFTA is now a truly global organization reflecting the globalization of the entertainment industry as a whole.
+ We are pleased to say that next year we will be offering more scholarships to local students than ever before. The essays are in from the candidates and the successful students will be announced soon. Thanks to everybody on the Outreach Committee who have worked so hard to make this program so successful.
+ The same committee is also working hard on a major initiative for the next academic year - BAFTA New York's inaugural Student Film Awards, which will be presented at a big event next May when members will have the right to watch the finalist films and vote for their preferred winner. Thanks to Heidi Klaimitz especially for her hard work so far in bringing on board all the top film schools in New York.
+ Kudos too to Doug Schwalbe and Jennifer Lupinacci on the Children's Committee who have been organizing regular networking lunches for those involved in kids' programming - a truly international genre that has close links with New York through the annual Kidscreen event in the city.
+ Thanks also to those who voted in the board elections. Congratulations to Luke Parker Bowles for being elected as Vice Chair, and to Dee Poku for being elected to the Board
My request in the last newsletter for volunteers to help our digital committee met with a great response. The committee meetings are now packed with lots of energy and ideas for the future. We will be shortly sending out a survey so we can discover more about how you use social media and how we might provide a better service for members as well as focusing on our image to the outside world and how it can be supported using digital media.
Meanwhile continue to engage with us on social media:
I hope you have a great summer, and look forward to seeing you at screenings and events coming up in the near future.
Chairman, BAFTA New York