Bafta chair Krishnendu Majumdar has said that “change is possible” in his final letter to members before his three-year term comes to an end on Monday, June 26.
Echoing a letter shortly after his appointment in 2020 where he said “change is coming”, Majumdar highlighted his journey from Bafta learning and events committee, through the TV committee of which he became chair in 2015; to being deputy chair then chair.
“That journey shows that change is possible,” said Majumdar.
He added he is “perhaps most proud” of the 2020 review, which resulted in over 120 changes to Bafta’s awards campaigning, voting and membership.
“More importantly, it marked a cultural shift at Bafta, from passive to proactive and progressive in tackling inequality,” wrote Majumdar, who works as a producer through his independent company Me + You Productions.
Majumdar began his tenure in summer 2020, with the pandemic in full swing and three months after Bafta had been criticised for the lack of diversity in the nominations for its 2020 Film Awards. “I believe we responded to the lack of diversity candidly and constructively,” said Majumdar. “Those tough sessions with contributors that informed the review from within our membership and across the industry was a watershed.
“We have embraced the review’s recommendations and we’re beginning to see their impact,” he continued. “Rather than a box-ticking exercise, it reflected a long-overdue shift in our industries to address all forms of underrepresentation, and helped level the playing field so that all talent and all stories are seen and recognised on merit equally.”
Majumdar added that “that work continues” and the industry must “redouble our efforts” to support people from all backgrounds – “not just to enter the industry, but to thrive in sustainable, successful careers.”
The organisation has committed to three methods of doing that, Majumdar noted: continuing the work of the 2020 review; encouraging “talented practitioners from underrepresented groups” to join Bafta; and through year-round learning and development activity.
He also highlighted the Climate Content Pledge, convened by Bafta albert and signed by major broadcasters at the COP 26 summit, but added that it “must only be the start”.
Majumdar closed his letter with thanks, including to Bafta volunteers and members; and with praise for his successor Sara Putt: “She will be an outstanding chair and I hope you give her the support you have given me.”
“The best is yet to come. Bring it on,” concluded Majumdar.