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BAFTA sets out plans for an evolution of its BAFTA North America awards activity

23 September 2022
Event: British Academy Games AwardsDate: Thursday 4 April 2019Venue: Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, LondonHost: Dara Ó Briain -Area: Carlo Paloni Master-SetBAFTA/Carlo Paloni

BAFTA has announced the expansion of its awards activity in the US and will introduce year-round presentations of Special Awards to recipients in North America. BAFTA Special Awards are honorary awards presented to those that have made a significant, inspiring, and outstanding contribution to film, games and television through a particular project(s) and/or their work. This marks the evolution of the Britannia Awards ceremony, an event previously hosted once a year in Los Angeles - the last taking place in 2019.

Special Awards recipients in North America will receive a coveted BAFTA mask and presentations will take place at bespoke events throughout the year, with the inaugural event expected to take place in Los Angeles. The BAFTA Special Awards are a vital way to celebrate excellence and inspire future generations of talent across film, games, and television. Details of the first recipient will be announced soon. Special Awards are in the gift of BAFTA and recipients can be put forward by members, the sector committees, and the BAFTA North America Board, chaired by Kathryn Busby.

The move comes following BAFTA’s review of its presentation of honorary awards, and a year after the organization’s expansion of North America operations that has already included expanding membership benefits, growing its Learning, Inclusion and Talent programs, and an inaugural presence at the Toronto International Film Festival. BAFTA has had a presence in the US since the formation of BAFTA Los Angeles in 1987, followed by BAFTA New York in 1996. Now, with almost 2,000 members in North America, activities include its extensive Screenings and Q&A program, Tea Parties, BAFTA Breakthrough USA, the Yugo BAFTA Student Awards, the US Newcomers Program, Scholarships, and the Vance Byrd Mentorship program.

Kathryn Busby, Chair of the BAFTA North America Board said, “This is an incredibly exciting moment for BAFTA, as we evolve and expand our award presentations and activities. Creating the opportunity to present awards year-round and celebrate excellence at more locations was a priority for our Board this year as we expand BAFTA’s mission and activity across North America, so we are delighted to be able to now announce this new direction.”

Matthew Wiseman, Executive Director and Head of North America for BAFTA said, "To be able to capture the same spirit and warmth of the Britannia Awards event, and now present honorary awards throughout the year and in different cities, is an exciting prospect that will enable BAFTA to celebrate those who have made exceptional contributions to our industry in even more impactful and unique ways. We will also be able to use these moments to further inspire future generations of talent across our industry, many of whom will in turn be supported by BAFTA’s many Learning, Inclusion and Talent programs globally.”


For further information:
Caroline Stegner at Rogers & Cowan PMK
E [email protected] 


BAFTA – the British Academy of Film and Television Arts - is a world-leading independent arts charity that brings the very best work in film, games and television to public attention and supports the growth of creative talent in the UK and internationally. Through its Awards ceremonies and year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – which includes workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes in the UK, USA and Asia – BAFTA identifies and celebrates excellence, discovers, inspires and nurtures new talent, and enables learning and creative collaboration. For more, visit BAFTA is a registered charity (no. 216726).