Branching Out: BAFTA puts roots down at home and abroad
Establishing a presence both in the UK and internationally has been a key part of BAFTA’s work for over 30 years. The first step in the transformation to a truly national body began with 1984’s inaugural meeting of BAFTA North and then, in 1986, the creation of BAFTA Scotland. This was followed two years later by the official launch of BAFTA Cymru.

The parallel journey of BAFTA towards a global profile began when the crossover of American filmmakers active in the UK and British talent working in Hollywood inspired the launch of BAFTA LA in 1987, founded with the support of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. BAFTA’s presence in the US was cemented with the creation in 1990 of BAFTA New York (known for a time as BAFTA East Coast).

Now, the international relationship extends to the Academy’s work in Hong Kong, aimed at helping foster creative collaborations between UK filmmakers and industry professionals in Hong Kong and Asia.

Image: A special commission transformed a Whitbread public house into ‘The BAFTA Arms’ to celebrate the inaugural day of BAFTA North on 9 May 1984. BAFTA North was located in Manchester and active until 2004.

BAFTA Archive

Video: Producer Iain Smith discusses founding BAFTA Scotland in the mid-1980s (Source: BAFTA).