In terms of social events, the BAFTAs have come a long way from being Oscar’s dowdy British cousin. There are now enough parties/receptions/dinners surrounding the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards on Sunday to make for a long busy weekend.
“Ten years ago, the BAFTAs were the ceremony, plus Harvey [Weinstein’s] post-show bash, and that was about it,” says Daily Mail entertainment columnist Baz Bamingboye. “Now there are events flooding my diary. It competes with our other ongoing show business event, the Royal Family.”
And, speaking of the Royals, having Prince William as the organization’s president is a touch of class the Oscars can’t match. He and wife Kate host the award’s night-before party at Kensington Palace.
“There’s always been a strong connection between the British film industry and Hollywood,” says BAFTA board member Vivian Mayer. “You be surprised how many people feel the path to the Oscars goes through London.”
Below, a guide to the weekend’s big events:
Thursday, Feb. 5 – BAFTA has its Inaugural Gala Dinner at 195 Piccadilly, the organization’s headquarters. The event is a fundraiser for the org’s Give Something Back campaign to assist young people entering the film and TV industry.
Friday, Feb. 6 – Weinstein hosts his annual BAFTA nominee dinner at Little House in Mayfair. His Weinstein Co. has a best picture nominee for The Imitation Game plus best British film nominations for Game and Paddington.
Friday, Feb. 6 — Charles Finch and Chanel host a party at Annabelle’s.
Friday, Feb. 6 – Lancome, Alma Jodorowsky and Ealing Studios host a champagne reception at Cafe Royal.
Saturday, Feb. 7 – Brunch at the Chiltern Firehouse restaurant in the Marleybone section of London hosted by Working Title, Matthew Freud and Andre Balazs.
Saturday, Feb. 7 – BAFTA luncheon at the Savoy in honor of 2015’s BAFTA Fellow.
Saturday, Feb. 7 – BAFTA/Audi Nominees Party at Kensington Palace.
Sun, Feb 8 – Weinstein has his own full-blown after-party at Rosewood London.