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The British Academy of Film and Television Arts, commonly known as BAFTA, is a British organization which hosts annual awards shows for film, television, children's film and television, and interactive media.

It was founded in 1947 as the British Film Academy, incorporated the Guild of Television Producers and Directors in a 1958 merger to form the Society of Film and Television, which became BAFTA in 1976. The British Film Academy's founders included David Lean, Alexander Korda, Carol Reed, and Charles Laughton.

The Academy's trophies are in the form of a theatrical mask designed by American sculptor Mitzi Cunliffe[?], commissioned by the Guild of Television Producers in 1955.

BAFTA's main office is on Piccadilly in London, but it also has branches in Northern England, Scotland, Wales, New York City and Los Angeles.

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Film Awards

BAFTA's main film awards ceremony is known as the British Academy Film Awards. The ceremony used to take place in April or May, but from 2002 onwards it will occur in February in order to precede the Oscars. The awards are mostly open to all nationalities, though there is an award for best British film.

Winners at the 2002 British Academy Film Awards included: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (best film); Gosford Park (Alexander Korda award for the Outstanding British film of the year); Peter Jackson (David Lean award for achievement in Direction); Judi Dench (best actress); and Russell Crowe (best actor).

Television Awards

The British Academy Television Awards take place in April, with craft awards having a separate ceremony in May.

Among the 2002 winners were the office comedy The Office and its star Ricky Gervais; souped-up talent contest Pop Idol[?]; the long-running soap EastEnders; popular romantic comedy-drama Cold Feet[?]; best actress Julie Walters and best actor Michael Gambon.

Children's Awards

The British Academy Children's Film and Television Awards were established in 1995, and are presented in November. The 2002 winner of best feature film was Monsters, Inc[?], which beat nominees The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Stuart Little 2[?].

Interactive Awards

The BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Awards were first presented in 1998, and cover websites and computer games. Winners ranged from BBC News Online to Gran Turismo 3.

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