The Write Stuff: Screenwriting categories created
If the British theatrical tradition has always helped inspire the country’s performers, it has also been a wellspring for the great screenwriters whose ideas have fuelled so much incredible British film and television. BAFTA first recognised the craft of writing in its awards of 1955, at that time the only prize aside from the performance categories to recognise an individual rather than a film.

Of course, while TV has long been considered a writers’ medium, with writers collecting awards in both the Television and Television Craft Awards, the director is often thought of as the leading creative force on a film. That was one reason why BAFTA began its acclaimed Screenwriters’ Lecture Series in 2010, established to celebrate the creative contribution of writers in film and featuring figures such as David Hare, Peter Morgan, Sir Ronald Harwood, Charlie Kaufman, Moira Buffini and Abi Morgan.

In gaming too, while a writing credit is often shared between a team, the craft of story building is a crucial part of the creative process – BAFTA duly introduced a screenplay prize at its Games Awards 2006.

Image: Harold Pinter accepts the award for Best British Screenplay for the film, The Pumpkin Eater (1964). Pinter was nominated ten times in total and was presented with the Fellowship, the Academy's highest honour, in 1997.

BAFTA Archive

Video: Highlights from the screenwriting lecture given by Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) in 2011 (Source: BAFTA).