Bafta is looking into ways of moving its screenings online and support members with fees as it adapts to the coronavirus crisis.
In an email to members from Bafta chairperson Pippa Harris and chief executive Amanda Berry, the organisation said it was “in advanced discussions with studios and distributors” about moving the year-round awards eligibility screenings online.
It is also “looking to make films and television programmes from last year’s awards season available”.
Bafta also acknowledged the economic uncertainty facing its members, many of whom will be freelancers. “We are aware that membership fees will be a concern for some members at this time,” it said, “and we are looking at how we can best support those of you who are undergoing financial hardship while we continue to support Bafta’s functions as a charity.
As reported by Screen last week, Bafta is also talking to UK distributors and studios about introducing new rules to ensure films that are unable to be released theatrically during the ongoing pandemic crisis will still be eligible for qualification for the 2021 film awards.
The full email to members is below.
As we come to terms with the reality of the situation we are now living in, our thoughts are with you, our Bafta members and your families, at this difficult time.
The coronavirus outbreak has impacted our lives in ways unimaginable only a few short weeks ago. Our creative industries, like many others, face uncertain and tumultuous times ahead.
So we have rallied together this past week and considered the ways this situation might be impacting you, the questions you might have about your personal situation, and the role Bafta has to play in the coming weeks and months.
We know that many of you have urgent concerns about your livelihoods. Working together with our friends and colleagues across the industry, we have compiled a list of resources on the Bafta website of the most relevant information and support available, plus links to the latest advice from the UK Government and the NHS. We know that some of you are also members of trade bodies, but not all of you, so we will continue to keep you updated.
We are aware that membership fees will be a concern for some members at this time, and we are looking at how we can best support those of you who are undergoing financial hardship while we continue to support Bafta’s functions as a charity.
We are having advanced discussions with studios and distributors as we hope to move our screenings programme online. We are also looking to make films and television programmes from last year’s awards season available as we face extended periods at home or in self-isolation. We are also working hard to bring as many of our other events and activities online, including the Bafta Games Awards on Thursday 2 April.
Our work to identify and support the best new talent in the industry will continue throughout this period, with help from our members and our industry friends. For instance, we continue our search for budding writers for the latest Bafta Rocliffe New Writing competition (see below), and there will be more initiatives launching in the coming weeks.
While we adapt to new ways of working - and indeed living - this is a time for us to be at our most creative, and to use our skills and expertise to stay engaged. If you have any questions, thoughts or ideas on how we can work together and support each other, send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is essential that we look out for each other in these difficult times so please take extra special care of yourselves and those around you.
With best wishes
Dame Pippa Harris DBE
Amanda Berry OBE