Originally, the award was named after American screenwriter Carl Foreman, who had come to the UK to work having been blacklisted by the infamous House Committee on Un-American Activities in the 1950s, and then set to work helping develop British writing talent. Now, the award is named Outstanding Debut, with a remit to recognise creative innovation from a director, writer or producer on their first feature film.
The list of winners reads like a collection of the best British filmmakers of recent years, with names including Asif Kapadia, Joe Wright, Andrea Arnold, Steve McQueen and Lynne Ramsey. In 2017, winners of the Outstanding Debut Award screened in cinemas around the country as part of BAFTA's 70th anniversary celebrations.
Image: Director Steve McQueen, winner of the Outstanding Debut Award for Hunger (2008) at the British Academy Film Awards in 2009.