The Invisible Institution? Reconstructing the History of BAFTA and the 1958 Merger of the British Film Academy with the Guild of Television Producers and Directors

Pett, Emma and Warner, Helen (2020) The Invisible Institution? Reconstructing the History of BAFTA and the 1958 Merger of the British Film Academy with the Guild of Television Producers and Directors. Journal of British Film and Television, 17 (4). pp. 449-472.

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Abstract

As a cultural institution of national and global significance, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is notably absent from existing scholarship on the media industries. More importantly, BAFTA's role as an independent arts charity set up by the industry to support and develop new talent is often overlooked. Instead, references to BAFTA made by media and film scholars most frequently take the form of footnotes or digressions that detail particular awards or nominations. Drawing on a range of archival sources, including BAFTA's own records, we address this significant omission within existing scholarship on the British cultural and creative industries. In particular, we examine the period 1947-68, focusing on the 1958 merger of the British Film Academy with the Guild of Television Producers and Directors to form a new institution, known as the Society of Film and Television Arts (SFTA, later renamed BAFTA). This was achieved despite the well-documented tensions existing between the two industries throughout the period, which we identify and analyse within this historical context. We argue that a crucial factor driving the 1958 merger was the desire to develop quality training schemes across both industries. This, in turn, was partly enabled by an egalitarian turn in post-war British society towards the development of greater social equality and mobility. In reconstructing these events, we therefore interrogate and reassess the role played by this key national institution on the development of the creative and cultural industries, offering an expansion and revision of scholarship on media histories of post-war Britain.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: association of cinematograph,british academy of film and television arts (bafta),british film academy (bfa),guild of television producers and directors,society of film and television arts (sfta),television and allied technicians (actt),training schemes,communication,visual arts and performing arts ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3315
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Political, Social and International Studies
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2020 03:21
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2020 23:50
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/73755
DOI: 10.3366/jbctv.2020.0542

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