BAFTA takes games program stateside

BAFTA takes games program stateside
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

October 5th 2012 at 9:42AM

Mark Hamill on board for film and television academy's Los Angeles gaming debut

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has expanded its gaming program to the US, with the inaugural 'games program' at BAFTA LA.

The move comes as part of an effort by BAFTA to forge closer ties with US games development studios and other industry companies, while establishing better convergence between the film, television and games sectors in the US and Canada.

The initiative is set to ape BAFTA's game work in the UK, which last week saw Metal Gear creator interviewed on stage in central London.

“Games is one of our fastest growing membership categories, and an important area of focus for BAFTA Los Angeles,” said BAFTA Los Angeles Chairman Neil Stiles.

“We are proud to be launching our Games activities with such an iconic name; Mark Hamill has successfully bridged the film, TV and games world and therefore exemplifies BAFTA Los Angeles’ efforts to embrace the games industry as an important art form of the moving image.”

Star Wars actor Hamill, 2012 winner of British Academy Games Awards’ Best Performer accolade, Hamill took to the stage at BAFTA LA's inaugural games event this week, discussing his career and his experience of the crossover of games and films.

A newly founded BAFTA Los Angeles Games Committee has also been established, which is co-chaired by digital media and gaming industry veterans Phil Ashcroft, James Knight and Jennie Kong, who are each charged with working closely with both BAFTA and the industry to expand its initiatives and educational programs into North America.