British Academy Film Awards

The British Academy Film Awards, more commonly known as the BAFTA Film Awards is an annual award show hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) to honour the best British and international contributions to film. The ceremonies were initially held at the flagship Odeon cinema in Leicester Square in London, before being held at the Royal Opera House from 2007 to 2016. From 2017 to 2022, the ceremony was held at the Royal Albert Hall in London before moving to the Royal Festival Hall for the 2023 ceremony. The statue awarded to recipients depicts a theatrical mask.

British Academy Film Awards
Current: 76th British Academy Film Awards
Awarded forThe best in film
CountryUnited Kingdom
First awarded29 May 1949 (1949-05-29)

The first BAFTA Awards ceremony was held in 1949, and the ceremony was first broadcast on the BBC in 1956 with Vivien Leigh as the host. The ceremony was initially held in April or May; since 2001, it typically takes place in February.


BAFTA mask and the logo of the BBC (broadcaster of the awards since 1956)

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) was founded in 1947 as The British Film Academy, by David Lean, Alexander Korda, Carol Reed, Charles Laughton, Roger Manvell, Laurence Olivier, Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell, Michael Balcon, and other major figures of the British film industry.[1][2] In 1958, the Academy merged with The Guild of Television Producers and Directors to form The Society of Film and Television, which eventually became The British Academy of Film and Television Arts in 1976.[3]

The stated charitable purpose of BAFTA is to "support, develop and promote the art forms of the moving image, by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners, and benefiting the public". In addition to high-profile awards ceremonies, BAFTA runs a year-round programme of educational events, including film screenings and tribute evenings. BAFTA is supported by a membership of about 6,000 people from the film, television, and video game industries.

The Academy's awards are in the form of a theatrical mask designed by American sculptor Mitzi Cunliffe, in response to a commission from the Guild of Television Producers in 1955.[4]

Annual ceremony

The location for the 2011 ceremony

The ceremony previously took place in April or May, but since 2001 it has been held in February in order to precede the Academy Awards. Most of the awards are open to all nationalities, though there are awards for Outstanding British Film and Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Producer or Director. Only UK films are eligible for the categories of The British Short Film and British Short Animation awards.

During each annual ceremony, BAFTA pauses in memoriam to pay tribute to those in the industry who have died over the past 12 months, showcasing a montage of images accompanied by music.


The Awards ceremony is delayed broadcast on British television the same evening, and across the world. The first broadcast was on the BBC in 1956, with Vivien Leigh (who would present an award to her husband Sir Laurence Olivier) as the host.[5] It has been broadcast in colour since 1970. In the US it is shown on BBC America.


The award ceremony is held in London. From 2000 to 2007, the ceremonies took place at the flagship Odeon cinema in Leicester Square. Between 2008 and 2016, the ceremonies took place at the Royal Opera House. The 70th Awards in 2017, and subsequent ceremonies up to the 75th Awards in 2022, were held at the Royal Albert Hall.[6][7]

For the 76th British Academy Film Awards in 2023, it was announced that the ceremony would be moved to the Royal Festival Hall as part of a new multi-year deal between BAFTA and the Southbank Centre, brining the Film Awards in-line with the British Academy Television Awards and British Academy Games Awards, which were already held there.[8]


Until 2012, the mobile telephone network Orange sponsored the awards. Orange's parent company, EE, took over the sponsorship of the event from 2013.[9]

Award categories

Retired awards

  • BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles (awarded 1952–1984)
  • BAFTA Award for Best British Screenplay (awarded 1955–1968)
  • BAFTA Award for Best Screenplay (awarded 1969–1983)
  • BAFTA Award for Best British Actor (awarded 1952–1967)
  • BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor (awarded 1952–1967)
  • BAFTA Award for Best British Actress (awarded 1952–1967)
  • BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress (awarded 1952–1967)
  • BAFTA Award for Best Original Song (awarded 1983–1985)
  • BAFTA Award for Best Factual Film
  • BAFTA Award for Best Fictional Film
  • BAFTA Award for Best Short Factual Film
  • BAFTA Award for Best Specialised Film
  • BAFTA John Grierson Award
  • BAFTA United Nations Award (awarded 1949–1976)

Special awards

  • BAFTA Fellowship (since 1971)
  • Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award (known as the Michael Balcon Award from 1979 to 2006)[10]



Sir Daniel Day-Lewis at the 2008 BAFTA Awards. He has received four BAFTA Awards for Best Actor, the second most for an actor.
Superlative Male Actor Female Actor
Most Nominations Laurence Olivier
Michael Caine
Dustin Hoffman
8 Judi Dench
Meryl Streep
Most Wins Peter Finch 5 Judi Dench
Maggie Smith


Superlative Director
Most Nominations Martin Scorsese 10
Most Wins Woody Allen
Joel Coen
Alfonso Cuarón
Louis Malle
Ang Lee
Alan Parker
Roman Polanski
John Schlesinger
Peter Weir
Most nominations in a year Steven Soderbergh
Traffic / Erin Brockovich



Event Date Host
1st 29 May 1949
2nd 29 May 1949
3rd 29 May 1950
4th 22 February 1951
5th 8 May 1952
6th 5 March 1953
7th 25 March 1954
8th 10 March 1955
9th 1 March 1956 Vivien Leigh
10th 11 July 1957
11th 6 March 1958
12th 1959
13th 22 March 1960
14th 6 April 1961
15th 5 April 1962
16th 7 May 1963
17th 3 April 1964
18th 1965
19th 1966
20th 1967
21st 28 March 1968
22nd 26 March 1969
23rd 8 March 1970 David Frost
24th 4 March 1971 Richard Attenborough[11]
25th 23 February 1972
26th 28 February 1973 Michael Parkinson
John Mills[12]
27th 6 March 1974
28th 26 February 1975 David Niven[12]
29th 17 March 1976
30th 24 March 1977 Esther Rantzen
Roger Moore[13]
31st 16 March 1978
32nd 22 March 1979 Sue Lawley
Michael York
33rd 20 March 1980
34th 22 March 1981 David Frost
35th 18 March 1982
36th 20 March 1983 Frank Bough
Selina Scott
37th 25 March 1984 Michael Aspel
38th 5 March 1985 Terry Wogan
39th 16 March 1986 Michael Aspel
40th 22 March 1987 Ronnie Corbett
Ronnie Barker
41st March 1988 Michael Aspel
42nd 19 March 1989 David Dimbleby
Anna Ford
43rd 11 March 1990 Magnus Magnusson
Sally Magnusson
44th 17 March 1991 Noel Edmonds
45th 22 March 1992 Michael Aspel
46th 21 March 1993 Griff Rhys Jones
47th 15 April 1994 Sheena McDonald
48th 9 April 1995 Billy Connolly
49th 23 April 1996 Angus Deayton
50th 29 April 1997 Lenny Henry
51st 18 April 1998 Rory Bremner
52nd 11 April 1999 Jonathan Ross
53rd 9 April 2000 Jack Docherty
54th 25 February 2001 Stephen Fry
Mariella Frostrup
55th 24 February 2002 Stephen Fry
56th 23 February 2003
57th 15 February 2004
58th 12 February 2005
59th 19 February 2006
60th 11 February 2007 Jonathan Ross
61st 10 February 2008
62nd 8 February 2009
63rd 21 February 2010
64th 13 February 2011
65th 12 February 2012 Stephen Fry
66th 10 February 2013
67th 16 February 2014
68th 8 February 2015
69th 14 February 2016
70th 12 February 2017
71st 18 February 2018 Joanna Lumley
72nd 10 February 2019
73rd 2 February 2020 Graham Norton
74th 10–11 April 2021 Clara Amfo
Dermot O'Leary
Edith Bowman
75th 13 March 2022[14] Rebel Wilson
76th 19 February 2023 Richard E. Grant
Alison Hammond

See also


  1. "David Lean's Letter to the Academy". 2 November 2009. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
  2. "BAFTA Awards: Overview". IMDb. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  3. "History of BAFTA". Retrieved 5 January 2022.
  4. "Mitzi Cunliffe and the BAFTA Mask". BAFTA. Archived from the original on 18 May 2012.
  5. "Switched On: Television joins the fold". Retrieved 5 January 2022.
  6. Orlova-Alvarez, Tamara; Alvarez, Joe (13 February 2017). "Royal BAFTAs". Ikon London Magazine. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  7. Orlova-Alvarez, Tamara; Alvarez, Joe (13 February 2018). "Jennifer Lawrence EE British Academy Film and Television Awards". Ikon London Magazine. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  8. Ntim, Zac (20 September 2022). "BAFTA To Move 2023 Film Awards To Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall". Screen International. Retrieved 20 September 2022.
  9. Wilkinson, Alex. "EE Announced as Title Sponsor for the British Academy Film Awards in 2013". EE Corporate Site. Saatchi&Saatchi. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  10. "The Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award - Awards". BAFTA. 6 March 2012. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  11. "BBC One London - 4 March 1971 - BBC Genome".
  12. "BBC One London - 26 February 1975 - BBC Genome".
  13. "BBC One London - 24 March 1977 - BBC Genome".
  14. "BAFTA Sets Date for 2022 Film Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. 21 June 2021.
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