BAFTA Awards: London Teed Up For Royal Party Weekend

The BAFTA Film Awards fall this year on Valentine’s Day, Sunday February 14. While nominees wait to find out who will get the British Academy’s biggest love, events and soirées have been in full swing this week – and will continue through the wee hours of Monday morning. A prestigious stop on the awards season circuit, BAFTA weekend is also the last major chance for nominees to rub shoulders and be seen ahead of Oscar ballots closing on February 23. There’s at least a 500-member overlap between BAFTA and AMPAS, so there are plenty of hearts to still make swoon, and plenty of opportunities to do so over these few days — and also just to have a good time.

The BAFTA Film Gala officially kicked off the long weekend on Thursday night, raising £250K in support of its Give Something Back campaign, which is akin to the Oscar’s Night Before Party and has become another fixture on BAFTA’s blooming calendar. Attendees included Oscar winner Colin Firth, along with Superman Henry Cavill and Game Of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer. (The night before that, Peggy Siegel, Barbara Broccoli and Jessica de Rothschild hosted a 100-person dinner in a fabulous London house with Tom Cruise in attendance, though that one seemed slightly less awards-related, according to sources.)

Many more big names were due in town this evening for Harvey Weinstein’s annual drinks and dinner at Mayfair’s Little House. The private event celebrates the past year in film for close friends and Weinstein Co nominees which this year include co-leader Carol.

On Saturday, some will head to Eric Fellner’s annual brunch at the Chiltern Firehouse in Marylebone. Fellner is co-Chairman of Working Title which notably has The Danish Girl in the race. After that, they’ll be primping for the nominees cocktail which takes place at Kensington Palace, aka the domicile of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. This is the second year in a row that BAFTA has had the royal oui for the event – Prince William has been President of BAFTA since 2010.

Last year’s Palace visit stunned most guests who couldn’t believe they were in such hallowed halls in the middle of Kensington Gardens. There were, however, no royal sightings. Once some guests are finished marveling at the sparkly rooms on Saturday, they’ll head to an annual dinner held by Charles Finch at Annabelle’s.

On Sunday, the awards ceremony is held at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden and followed by a dinner at Grosvenor House. There, hundreds of tables are annually adorned with themed-decorations and collectible placemats that feature scenes from beloved films. More of a mingle-fest than a sit-down, it serves as a warm-up for the night ahead.

The first stop for some will be Universal’s get-together at Little House in honor of such nominees as Room and The Danish Girl. The next stop is The Weinstein Co party at The Rosewood Hotel in Holborn. Co-hosts this year include Studiocanal and Entertainment Films. This is one of the hottest tickets of the weekend and comes with access to a sweets room that houses a fountain of flowing chocolate. The party regularly draws the biggest talent in town, and the Harvey faithful. Last year’s ended at 5AM.

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