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Screenings and Events: How it all Works

Screenings are made possible through distributors, studios and PR companies and are primarily intended for Film Voting Members who are encouraged to view as many films in a theater as possible in order to experience the film as intended by the film makers. The Screening Committee’s role is to set up, schedule and manage all screenings - from first booking to invitation to venue, including concessions – throughout the year.  

 In an average year BAFTA New York members will have the opportunity to see almost 80 films, and participate in more than 25 Q&As.  The majority of film screenings however are crammed into the 3-4 month period known as the "screening season," which runs from September through to mid late December.

Members are privileged to be able to screen most of the eventual award winning films in any year and in many cases the studios provide an extensive line-up of cast and production teams for Q&A sessions following the screenings.

The Screening Committee, led by the Screening Committee co-chairs, Lisa Harrison and Jill Hawkins, is comprised of a team of knowledgeable Volunteers who manage the relationships with specific studios and distributors throughout the year.

From August the screening season begins to take shape. Films qualified for a BAFTA are often only finalized in the final few weeks of the season and as dates fill up it is a critical part of the system to keep the central Screening Schedule updated often several times a day, until the final titles and screenings are dropped into a crammed schedule by mid December.

As the screenings are confirmed the Screening Committee members and Volunteers are coordinated to organize the logistics of the screening using a collaborative web-based project management system.  A minimum of  four people are required to manage each of the 80-90 screenings held each year.

BAFTA New York’s team of Committee members and Volunteers literally make the screenings happen.  Volunteers take responsibility for ensuring that the theater is prepared for the film and talent - the hard drive has arrived and that mics, chairs etc are  set up for Q&As, among many other preparations.. For preview screenings, security will also be present to prevent unauthorized access and piracy.

Doors open times and screening start times are strictly adhered to , particularly if there is a Q&A to ensure that the studio is able to stick to its PR schedule for the film and talent.  Once the check-in desk has closed (five minutes prior to the film’s  start), the screening is officially closed to members. Late arrivals are not usually allowed to enter a screening. 

Eligibility for a BAFTA Film Award is based upon a films UK ‘qualifying’ date, so a film released before or after a qualifying screening in the UK will not be eligible for a BAFTA that year. However all films can be screened for members throughout the year. 

If you have any suggestions for titles you would like to see please send details, along with the name of the distributor, to [email protected]  The Committee will then determine if the title is eligible/available. We welcome suggestions throughout the year, particularly out of the press of the screening season, when we screen fewer films and members most likely to be able to focus on smaller or less publicized films.  The Screening Committee Chairs will be more than happy to try to find a suitable small or suitable venue.