It’s BAFTA weekend here in London, and that means it’s time for our annual rundown of the festivities in store for nominees, execs and other well-heeled invitees. Notably in 2023, there’s a new venue for the Film Awards ceremony and dinner, while the roster of pre-awards events includes a new host. All will be capped off by celebrations of several key players on Sunday, from intimate to outsized bashes.
The ceremony, hosted by Richard E. Grant (picking up the baton from Rebel Wilson), will kick off at roughly 5:45 p.m. local time. BBC One will begin airing the show an hour later at 7 p.m. local, editing along the way to, in a first, catch up with the live show so that the final four categories are broadcast in real time (EE Rising Star, Lead Actor and Actress, and Outstanding Film). Britbox in the U.S. also is airing on a similar delay, and behind by an extra two minutes.
The BAFTA Film Awards are moving from the Royal Albert Hall to the Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Centre, now home of both BAFTA’s film and TV prize ceremonies. What’s more, the annual dinner that follows the ceremony also will be held at the Royal Festival Hall. This is the first time in more than a decade that the post-awards meal is not taking place at Grosvenor House on Park Lane — meaning attendees won’t have to shuttle from the show to the dinner.
It remains to be seen how this affects the flow of the dinner, where historically hardly anyone eats as they table hop, mix and mingle. We’re told full use will be made of the Royal Festival Hall and its open-plan design; dinner is being served in the ballroom. Following the dinner, BAFTA will host an afterparty at the adjacent Queen Elizabeth Hall.
In 2022, the Critics Choice Awards were held in Los Angeles on the same night as the BAFTAs, causing some disruption for nominees. This year, the Directors Guild of America will hand out its prizes on Saturday night, with overlaps including Todd Field (Tár), The Daniels (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin) and Charlotte Wells (Aftersun). We are told they are all due in attendance at the BAFTA ceremony Sunday.
But before we get there and to more Sunday afterparties, the weekend really kicks into high gear on Saturday. New fêtard Apple TV+ will be hosting its first BAFTA brunch in honor of excellence in global storytelling and creativity. Billed as an annual event, the Apple TV+ BAFTA Brunch will celebrate this year’s nominees, including animated short film The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse. Expected attendees include stars and creatives across Apple Original film and TV series Ted Lasso, CODA, Slow Horses, Black Bird, Surface and Trying among others.
In the evening, AMPAS’ annual cocktail event returns to Claridge’s in Mayfair — a venue change, from Berkley Hotel Wilton Place last year and previously The Biltmore (prior to that, it was at Claridge’s). The event honors the org’s Oscar nominees and is an opportunity for BAFTA contenders who are up for Oscars to rub shoulders and be seen ahead of the Academy Awards ballot deadline March 7.
Following AMPAS, the annual BAFTA nominees party starts at 7:30 p.m. at the National Gallery. This is also a venue switch. From 2015, it took place inside Kensington Palace, then last year moved to BAFTA headquarters at 195 Piccadilly. Bulgari has come aboard as sponsor.
After the nominees event, some folks will head to Charles Finch’s exclusive yearly dinner, held in partnership with Chanel at 5 Hertford Street.
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In a departure from recent years, word is there is no pre-awards studio party Saturday night. In 2022 and 2019, Universal and Focus hosted late-night pre-BAFTA celebrations at the Chiltern Firehouse, while Netflix did likewise in 2020.
The major studio events will take place Sunday night after the post-ceremony dinner. In a mega-combo, no fewer than 10 studios, streamers and indie distributors are joining together to populate the multi-tiered SoHo House building on Greek Street.
Hosts and their films include Universal/Focus (Tár, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Mrs Harris Goes to Paris, She Said, Till, Moonage Daydream, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On), Paramount (Top Gun: Maverick, Babylon), Searchlight (The Banshees of Inisherin, Empire of Light), Sony (Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical), Lionsgate (Good Luck to You, Leo Grande; Living; Triangle of Sadness), eOne (The Fablemans, The Woman King), Amazon (Argentina, 1985), A24 (Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Whale) and Mubi (Aftersun, Decision to Leave).
Around the corner, Warner Bros is holding its annual cocktail at Kettner’s to honor its nominated films Elvis and The Batman.
As it did in 2022, 2020 and 2019, Netflix is doing a complete takeover of the Chiltern on Sunday to celebrate its nominees and talent. The streamer has 21 nominations across six titles including Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Blonde, The Good Nurse, The Swimmers, Wonder and a leading 14 noms for All Quiet on the Western Front. The party goes until late.
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