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BAFTA Brits To Watch: The Screenings Hosts Director Richard Laxton Presenting Burton and Taylor

9 October 2013

In partnership with British Council, BAFTA’s new talent initiative, directed at the industry in New York and Los Angeles, will host the BAFTA-nominated director on October 15 and 17 respectively.

Wednesday, 9 October: The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), in partnership with British Council, has today announced the second edition of Brits To Watch: The Screenings on October 15 in New York and October 17 in Los Angeles. BAFTA is proud to present Richard Laxton with Burton and Taylor – a BBC Drama production, London, co-produced with BBC America. The presentation builds on the successful launch of the Brits To Watch: The Screenings series, with Clio Barnard’s The Selfish Giant in July.

'Brits to Watch: The Screenings' will be hosted by BAFTA in New York and Los Angeles and will consist of up to six events, replicated in both cities, over 12 months. On each occasion, a British actor, director, writer or producer on the cusp of an international breakthrough will present a sample of recent work to an exclusive audience of film industry professionals. BAFTA will also arrange a number of follow-up meetings for the individuals to meet with key industry figures in both cities.

Amanda Berry, CEO of BAFTA, said: "British Television is admired the world over, so we are proud to include quality television drama as part of BAFTA’s Brits to Watch: The Screenings. I am thrilled we are showcasing Burton and Taylor and its talented director Richard Laxton."

Richard Laxton, director of Burton and Taylor starring Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West in a screenplay by William Ivory, has directed a number of BAFTA-nominated television drama series including Bodies, Outlaws, and Wing and a Prayer. He also directed the BAFTA-nominated single drama Hancock and Joan for the BBC.

Richard directed the pilot of Big Talk's Free Agents for Channel 4 and also The Job Lot, which is going into a second season for ITV. He is currently in post-production for the fourth series of his hugely popular and critically acclaimed comedy series Him and Her for Big Talk/BBC3, starring Sarah Solemani and Russell Tovey for which he directed the pilot and all episodes.

Richard's feature film debut Life and Lyrics, premiered at the Edinburgh Film Festival for Universal and he went on to direct his second feature, Grow Your Own written by Frank Cottrell Boyce, for BBC Films/Pathé. An Englishman in New York, directed by Richard and starring John Hurt, premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2009 and also screened at Tribeca Film Festival. In the UK the film screened on television and was nominated for three British Academy Television Awards in 2010. Effie Gray is Richard’s most recent feature, written by Emma Thompson and starring Dakota Fanning, Emma Thompson, Tom Sturridge, Greg Wise and Julie Walters.

Richard Laxton is represented by Jessica Sykes at Independent Talent Group in the UK and by Adriana Alberghetti and Melissa Myers at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment.

BAFTA’s ‘Brits to Watch: The Screenings’ is endorsed by ‘Friends of Brits to Watch: The Screenings’, a high-profile group of film professionals including: actors Damian Lewis (Homeland) Tom Hiddleston (Avengers Assemble, Midnight in Paris), Andrea Riseborough (Shadow Dancer, Brighton Rock), Simon Pegg (Star Trek, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn), Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness, Men in Black 3), Sienna Miller (The Girl, Interview) and Rebecca Hall (Parade’s End, Vicky Christina Barcelona); director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, The World’s End); screenwriter John Logan (Skyfall, Hugo, The Aviator); and writer, director and producer Armando Iannucci (Veep, In The Loop).

The series is produced in partnership with British Council with the support of Framestore, Langham Hospitality Group, Soho House and UK Trade & Investment.

Burton And Taylor

BAFTA-winning actors Dominic West and Helena Bonham Carter star as Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor – Hollywood's most volatile on-again-off-again lovers who famously played out every high and low of their love affairs, multiple marriages and divorces in the public eye. Burton and Taylor made their last stage appearance together in the critically reviled 1983 revival of Noël Coward's stage play, Private Lives. This is the story of their ill-fated reunion, on and off stage.

Further Information

For further information, please contact:

In Los Angeles:
Andy Gelb/Stephanie Samson at Slate PR
T: 310 461 0111
E: [email protected] / [email protected]

In New York:
Marlea Willis at Marlea Willis Communications, Inc.
T: 914 220 8399/212 485 9810
E: [email protected]

Notes to editors

'Brits to Watch: The Screenings' is being produced as a collaboration between the BAFTA offices in London, Los Angeles and New York.

The initiative is a talent showcase, and the associated screenings are not intended as film previews for press.


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round Learning & Events programme that offers unique access to some of the world’s most inspiring talent through workshops, masterclasses, lectures, scholarships and mentoring schemes, connecting with audiences of all ages and backgrounds across the UK, Los Angeles and New York. BAFTA relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing outreach work. For further information, visit, and to access the best creative minds in film, TV and games production visit

About BAFTA Los Angeles

BAFTA Los Angeles serves as the bridge between the Hollywood and British production and entertainment business communities. Maintaining a long tradition of recognizing the finest filmmaking and television talent, BAFTA Los Angeles hosts a series of events, including the prestigious Britannia Awards, the Awards Season Film and Television Tea Parties in January and September and the annual Garden Party. It provides exclusive access to screenings, Q&As with creative talent, produces seminars with leading UK film and television executives and the Heritage Archive, featuring broadcast-quality interviews with distinguished British members of the film and television industries, giving life to the preservation of the UK film industry for future generations.

A commitment to professional and community education is at the heart of the Academy’s charitable remit. BAFTA Los Angeles hosts the Student Film Awards and has an active Scholarship Program offering financial support and mentorship to UK students studying in the U.S. The Academy created The Inner City Cinema, a screening program providing free screenings of theatrical films to inner city areas not served by theatres. The success of Inner City Cinema has led to further free screening programs extended to multiple inner city parks through the Academy’s work with both the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation (Parks After Dark) and The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (Teen Summer Camps). For further information, visit http

About BAFTA New York

BAFTA New York is charged with carrying BAFTA’s mission forward in the US. This is accomplished through a vibrant community of senior level professionals based in the New York epicenter of international media production.

BAFTA New York’s annual calendar includes a diverse line-up of programs and events, with over 70 pre-release film screenings, talkbacks with talent, and panels focusing on Industry trends in television, film and multimedia. Educational Outreach is aimed at underserved youth in the NYC schools, and also includes The BAFTA New York Media Scholarship Program established to support undergraduate students pursuing media studies at public institutions located within the New York City area. The 2012-2013 grantee was Hunter College.

BAFTA New York is committed to working in tandem with those who share its commitment to supporting the quality and integrity of the moving image across all platforms. For more information, visit

About British Council

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We are a Royal Charter charity, established as the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations.

We work in more than 100 countries, and our 7000 staff – including 2000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year through English, arts, education and society programmes.

We earn over 75% of our annual turnover of £739 million from services which customers pay for, education and development contracts we bid for and from partnerships. A UK Government grant provides the remaining 25%. We match every £1 of core public funding with over £3 earned in pursuit of our charitable purpose. For more information, please visit