When and why was BAFTA founded?

Although it was not known as the BAFTA academy when it was first founded, the beginnings of the society commenced on 16th April 1947, when an elite group of members from the British film production industry met at a room in the Hyde Park Hotel.

The group of members present that day made David Lean a leading film director the Academy’s Chairman.

The academy all started in order to provide recognition for those who had contributed an outstanding creative piece of work towards the enhancement of British film.

After eleven years later, the British Film Academy decided to merge with the Guild of Television Producers and Directors, duly forming The Society of Film and Television Arts as its replacement.

With David Lean generously donating the royalties from his films “Bridge On The River Kwai” and “Doctor Zhivago” to The Society, this money became an invaluable source of capital for the newly founded society.

In 1976, with the opening of its new headquarters The Society became officially known as The British Academy of Film and Television Arts and BAFTA was born.

Although the BAFTA awards ceremony happens but once a year, the society itself is busy throughout the year with international programme of learning events and initiatives.

These programmes offer an unique access to some of the most inspiring techniques and talents through their various workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes.

These initiatives are about connecting with the audiences of all ages and backgrounds across the UK, Los Angeles and New York.