The British Academy Film Awards are presented in an annual award show hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). It is the British counterpart of the Academy Awards. As of 2008, it has taken place in the Royal Opera House, having taken over from the flagship Odeon cinema on Leicester Square. The 66th British Academy Film Awards will take place on 10 February 2013.
BAFTA was founded in 1947 as The British Film Academy, by David Lean, Alexander Korda, Carol Reed, Charles Laughton, Roger Manvell and others. In 1958, the Academy merged with The Guild of Television Producers and Directors to form The Society of Film and Television, which eventually became The British Academy of Film and Television Arts in 1976.
BAFTA's stated charitable remit is to "support, develop and promote the art forms of the moving image, by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public". In addition to high profile awards ceremonies BAFTA runs a year-round programme of educational events including film screenings and tribute evenings. BAFTA is supported by a membership of around 6,000 people from the film, television and video game industries.
The Academy's awards are in the form of a theatrical mask designed by American sculptor Mitzi Cunliffe, which was commissioned by the Guild of Television Producers in 1955.
The ceremony used to take place in April or May, but from 2002 onwards it takes place in February in order to precede the Oscars. The awards are mostly open to all nationalities, though there is an award for Outstanding British Film and Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Producer or Director. The Short Film and Short Animation awards are also only for UK films.
The Awards ceremony is broadcast on British television, usually the day after it has taken place. It is mostly broadcast on BBC One.
Source : Wikipedia