As early as April 24, 1929, British director George Pearson suggested in the pages of the trade paper, The Bioscope, that the British film industry create an institution similar to the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Such an organization, the British Film Academy, was eventually established in March 1947, with a dinner meeting at Claridge's Hotel, London. Among the founders were Alexander Korda, David Lean, Paul Rotha, Michael Balcon, and Alberto Cavalcanti, with Roger Manvell joining the Academy in August 1947 as its first Secretary-General.
In 1953, members of the British television industry founded the Guild of Television Producers and Directors, and, in 1958, the two groups combined to become the Society of Film and Television Arts, which later changed its name to the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. The published objectives of the Academy are "to promote, maintain, improve, and advance original and creative work among persons engaged in film and television production; to create and maintain a high standard of qualification and performance in such persons; and to encourage and promote experiment and research in the arts, sciences, and techniques of film and television production." The most highly visible of the Academy's activities are its awards ceremonies, which have been televized since 1969. The British Academy Award is based on a design by Mitzi Cunliffe. It has also published a quarterly journal from 1948-1974, initially titled British Film Academy Quarterly and later renamed Journal of the Society of Film and Television Arts.