The BAFTA awards season unofficially kicked off this weekwith the first lobbying of the organisation's members - more than five monthsbefore next the awards ceremony takes place (Feb 19, 2006).
Yesterday (Aug 31) saw BAFTA members invited to Ang Lee'smuch anticipated Brokeback Mountain next week to be accompanied by starJake Gyllenhaal in a Q&A session.
The screening, and perhaps more importantly Gyllenhaal'ssupport, is clearly made possible by the film's presence in competition atVenice where it screens tomorrow (Sep 2). The screening, organised by PremierPR on behalf of UK distributor Entertainment Film Distributors, falls perfectlybetween Venice and Toronto, where the drama will play in the Masters programme.Brokeback Mountain launches in London's West End on Dec 30 and goes widein the UK from Jan 6 next year.
BAFTA members also received an invitation to a Pride& Prejudice screening, together with a Q&A with star KeiraKnightley and director Joe Wright, but that films release on Sep 16 and premierenext week make it an unsurprising time for such an event.
In recent years events tied into and around the LondonFilm Festival (this year Oct 19-Nov 3) usually marked the earliest occasionBAFTA members would be targeted for the season.
Now, however, the start of the Venice and TorontoInternational Film Festivals are seen as true beginning of the awards season.
However, the screenings schedule itself at BAFTA'sheadquarters in September also boasts several early contenders. FernandoMeirelles' The Constant Gardener which does not see UK release until Nov11 and Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown (Nov 4), both from UIP, are amongstthe list.