BAFTAs: Refreshed London Party Scene Swings Into Action On Eve Of Film Awards
BAFTA week in London has arrived. The British Academy will hand out its Film Awards on Sunday, hosted by Joanna Lumley in her first time at the helm as she replaces long-standing emcee Stephen Fry. For days before and for hours after the ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall, BAFTA week is the last major chance for nominees to rub shoulders and be seen ahead of Oscar ballots closing on February 27 — there’s a big membership overlap between BAFTA and AMPAS.
The festivities scene has been refreshed this year. Typically in our annual round-up of pre- and post-BAFTA Film Awards events, The Weinstein Co would be front and center. That’s all changed, and made way for new hosts and parties — along with traditional stops on the circuit — to celebrates BAFTA nominees and winners.
Kicking things off, legendary New York publicist and hostess Peggy Siegal co-hosted a dinner tonight with James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli and theater producer Jessica de Rothschild at Spencer House. Tomorrow, the Newport Beach Film Festival aims to warm things up as it honors UK cinema in partnership with Deadline’s sister publication, Variety. Cocktails and an awards ceremony will be held at the Rosewhood Hotel from 6PM.
Friday is time for small, private dinners and Saturday gives nominees the royal treatment. This year will mark the fourth that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge open Kensington Palace to BAFTA. The official BAFTA-organized nominees cocktail takes place in several upstairs rooms of the residence. This is annually an event that’s well-attended by all, and can be quite humbling as some of filmdom’s biggest names marvel at the surroundings. From there, a select group carries on to Charles Finch’s yearly dinner at Annabel’s in Mayfair.
One event that’s not happening Saturday is Working Title co-Chief Eric Fellner’s regular brunch at Chiltern Firehouse. In lieu, and in partnership with Universal and Focus Features, Working Title will co-host a post-BAFTA Awards do on Sunday night, also at the Chiltern in Marylebone. Universal in recent years has held elegant, intimate affairs at Little House in Mayfair. The three companies are expanding this year with so much to celebrate including multiple nominations for Get Out, Darkest Hour, Ladybird, Phantom Thread and Baby Driver, ensuring key talent.
But before that, the ceremony will wrap up at about 9PM local (check out our live blog on the night) and set the menu for the official dinner at Grosvenor House on Park Lane. A sea of stars and studio execs will table hop for about two hours before the official BAFTA party kicks up its heels in the adjoining ballroom.
For some, it will then be back to Annabel’s where Vogue is teamed with Steve McQueen, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Tiffany & Co for a celebration of fashion and film. Others will head to a very private Studiocanal get together at the Corinthian, and most will vie to check out the Chiltern for the Uni/Focus/WT bash.
Expected to be the final stop on the circuit that night is the eOne, Fox, Fox Searchlight, Sony and Lionsgate mash-up at the revamped Soho House on Greek Street which recently re-opened for business following a renovation that saw it expand into Kettners next door. We hear this is aiming to be quite the shindig with a guest set by UK DJ Jax Jones, who also happens to be an eOne artist.
Among the nominees those studios will be supporting is Searchlight’s leader The Shape Of Water, as well as Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Fox has War For The Planet Of The Apes; Sony is in with Call Me By Your Name and Blade Runner 2049; Lionsgate is honoring Wonder and eOne’s got Molly’s Game.
Stay tuned for updates…