2023 Bafta film awards to be hosted at new venue

The annual film event will be moving from the Royal Albert Hall.
The annual film event will be moving from the Royal Albert Hall. The annual film event will be moving from the Royal Albert Hall.

Next year’s EE Bafta film awards will be held at the Royal Festival Hall, it has been announced.

The annual ceremony, which will take place on February 19, moves from its previous location the Royal Albert Hall, which has hosted the event since 2017.

Prior to that, it was held at London’s Royal Opera House.

The Royal Festival Hall will host next year’s EE Bafta film ceremony (Morley von Sternberg/PA)

Organisers said the move to London’s Southbank Centre and the Royal Festival Hall will see Bafta programming “its most ambitious and accessible night yet” which will also be “bolstered by a refreshed production and format”.

Entries for the prestigious event open on Wednesday, September 21 2022, and next year’s ceremony will once again be broadcast on BBC One.

Emma Baehr, executive director of awards and content at Bafta, said: “The EE Bafta Film Awards are a global spotlight on the most exciting, innovative and creative stories being told in Britain and around the world, as well as playing host to the world’s biggest stars and a variety of unforgettable moments.

“The Royal Albert Hall has been a wonderful home to us for the last six years.

“As we embark on the next chapter in an incredibly exciting year for film, we can’t wait to kick off our new residency at the Royal Festival Hall with Bafta’s most ambitious celebration yet.”

This year’s Bafta ceremony saw Jane Campion’s The Power Of The Dog winning top honours, alongside sci-fi blockbuster Dune which also collected a string of gongs.

Belfast, Sir Kenneth Branagh’s autobiographical film about his childhood during the Troubles, won the outstanding British film award, while No Time To Die actress Lashana Lynch was crowned EE rising star, the only award voted for by the public.

The Royal Festival Hall was built as part of the Festival of Britain and officially opened in 1951, with the late King George VI and his daughter Princess Elizabeth among the VIP guests attending a concert for its opening.

Over the years it has seen names such as Grace Jones, Hillary Clinton, Tom Hanks appear under its roof.

British Academy Film Awards 2022 – Press Room – London
British Academy Film Awards 2022 – Press Room – London Lashana Lynch alongside No Time To Die film editors Elliot Graham and Tom Cross at the 75th British Academy Film Awards held at the Royal Albert Hall (Ian West/PA)

Anna Higgs, chairwoman of Bafta’s film committee, said: “After months of painstaking preparations we are delighted to officially open entries for the 2023 EE Bafta Film Awards.

“With the impressive calibre and creativity of films already on release, or on the way, our members in the UK and around the world have a phenomenal awards season ahead.

“Celebrating excellence, championing the value of the screen industries and driving positive change through ensuring a level playing field continue to be at the heart of what Bafta does – so we can’t wait to get going on voting and celebrating another fantastic year for film.”

The Southbank Centre’s chief executive, Elaine Bedell, said she was “delighted” at the partnership, with the Bafta TV and Games Awards also having taking place previously.

She added: “Bafta’s decision to bring three awards ceremonies under one roof underscores the variety, scale and creative potential of our spaces to programme a spectacular evening, for everyone.

“We’re delighted to support the vitally important screen industries and are so excited to see the Southbank Centre transformed for one of the biggest nights in the global film calendar.”

Bafta film nominations will be announced on January 19 next year, ahead of the star-studded ceremony the following month.

In July Bafta announced the appointment of its new chief executive Jane Millichip who takes over from Amanda Berry.

Berry announced last year she would be stepping down from her role after more than two decades at the organisation.

Millichip was previously Sky Studios’ chief content officer and prior to that had served as the corporation’s chief commercial officer.