Battle Of The Movie Award Giants: Oscars Versus Baftas

83rd Academy Awards¨ Press Kit ImagesbaftaThey’re the biggest events on the calendar of every actor, director, producer and movie fan on the planet. They’re a chance to celebrate the film industry’s most spectacular achievements and to recognize the hard work of the many people who pour their energy into creating the cinematic experiences we all love. But for the uninitiated, what’s the difference between the Oscars and the BAFTAs?

The Oscars, officially known as the Academy Awards, are presented in America each year in celebration of the film industry’s latest cinematic achievements. The ceremony was nicknamed the Oscars after the statuette given to the Academy Award recipients.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards, otherwise known as the BAFTAs, is a charity based in the UK which focuses on the best that cinema, television and its associated genres, such as video games and other types of animation, has to offer.

The Oscars pre-date the BAFTAs by eighteen years, with the very first Oscars ceremony taking place in 1929 and the first BAFTAs being held in 1947. While many people consider the ceremonies as having the same purpose – providing acclaim for commendable works of cinema and television that came out the previous year – they do have significant differences.

Hosting style
The Oscars are typically known for their cavalier style, and the refined manner in which the host presents the Academy Awards is preferred, so as to uphold the level of respect that receiving an Oscar award bestows upon the recipient. While many hosts can be jovial, there is a lot of pressure to get it right when the eyes of the world are watching.

When a host deflects from this style they can often be met with criticism, as was the case with the 2013 host of the Oscars, Seth MacFarlane, who didn’t impress many in attendance when he belted out his ‘We Saw Your Boobs’ song. In contrast, the BAFTAs ceremony is renowned for having funny guests as hosts, including comedians Jonathan Ross, Dara O’Briain and Stephen Fry. Stephen Fry is known for his panache and his charm, while Dara O’Briain and Jonathan Ross are acclaimed for their cheeky and highly likeable style of comedy.

Viewing figures
The Oscars usually receive larger viewing figures depending on how big the Box Office hits are that year. For example, in 1997, the Oscars were watched by 57 million Americans, primarily due to James Cameron’s film ‘Titanic’ winning the award.

The BAFTAs achieved around 5.357 million viewers in 2011, averaging a 22% share of the television audience. While these figures are nowhere near the scale of the Oscars, the BAFTAs viewing figures have been increasing, up from the 4.137 million who watched it in 2010 and the 4.3 million who tuned in to watch back in 2009.

Types of films
Dramas do the best at the Oscars, accounting for over half of all winners. Musicals and war pictures also do considerably well. The BAFTAs celebrate epic movies such as Ben Affleck’s ‘Argo’ and Steven Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’, which were nominated in 2013, but they also traditionally show more preference to British films and European offerings as well. Films like ‘Amour’, which won the ‘Best Film Not in the English Language’ category at the 2013 ceremony, demonstrate the diverse selection of films and television programs the BAFTAs includes for nomination.

Your opinion on which is better is likely to depend on the sort of movies you enjoy watching, and while some nominations may spark debate, there can be little doubt that the Oscars and BAFTAs awards ceremonies are the highlight of the movie year.

Written by Alex Johnson, who writes for various websites on confidence and keynote speaking.