'Evolution not revolution' is how Bafta/LA chairman Peter Morris describes the climate at Bafta's sister organisation in Los Angeles.
Morris, a board member for four years, is presiding over his second term as chairman. Nobody acquainted with the personable Scotsman would deny that under his tenure Bafta/LA has further cemented its standing in Hollywood.
'Outside the US the Baftas are probably the best known awards apart from the major festival honours,' Morris says. 'There are a lot of Anglophiles in the studios and we get very positive feedback from them. They engage with us, not just because they want to get the vote, but because we are a reputable organisation that stands for quality.'
Bafta/LA membership accounts for 20%-25% of the broader London-based Bafta, with which Morris has fostered a close relationship. The membership cap introduced a few years ago has resulted in 1,200 Los Angeles members and 300 on the East Coast, all of whom get a vote.
For the foreseeable future, he says, the cap will stay. 'You don't want to grow exponentially out of hand and it's also nice to belong to an elite group. If membership grows it will dilute the Academy as a professional body. That's not to say we don't take new members occasionally because people inevitably pass away or don't renew.'
Morris has amped up the star power at post-screening Q&As, with Jodie Foster, Halle Berry, Sean Penn, Jennifer Connelly, Marc Forster and Kevin Bacon among recent attendees.
That star power is reflected in the Cunard Britannia Awards (November 1), at which Michael Sheen will be MC. Honorees include Kate Winslet, Martin Campbell, Denzel Washington, New Line co-chiefs Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, and inaugural Bafta/LA Humanitarian Award recipient Richard Curtis.