The British Academy has announced Sara Putt as its new president.
Behind the film and TV agency Sara Putt Associates for behind-the-camera talent and a respected TV agent, producer, executive producer and advisor, Putt served as Deputy Chairman since 2021 and has been involved with BAFTA for over a decade . . She also sits on the advisory board of the British Film Commission and The Film & TV Charity board and previously served on the board of Women in Film and TV.
Putt takes over from Krishnendu Majumdar, whose three-year term as chairman ended at Monday’s annual general meeting.
“I am very honored to succeed Krishnendu Majumdar as President of BAFTA,” she said. “During his tenure, BAFTA has experienced growth and transition. Krish led the groundbreaking 2020 review with integrity, drive and openness, and as a result BAFTA has evolved as an academy and charity for the arts.”
Putt added that she intended “to continue to listen to our members, our stakeholders and our many beneficiaries”, and would use her experience as an agent to “steer the work that BAFTA is doing to advance the careers of those we support positive influence.”
Like Majumdar, Putt will serve as chairman for three years, with a deputy to be appointed in due course.
In his last message to members, Majumdar took pride in noting the “seismic changes” BAFTA had made during his tenure, including the reopening of its London headquarters after the redevelopment, broadening membership, the formation of BAFTA North America and the hiring of Jane Millichip, the first new CEO in nearly 25 years.
However, he said he is “perhaps most proud” of the comprehensive review that took place in 2020 and was launched in response to that year’s film nominations being heavily criticized for their lack of diversity. The review led to some 120 changes to the campaigns, voting and membership of the BAFTA awards.
“More importantly, it marked a cultural shift at BAFTA from passive to proactive and progressive in tackling inequality,” added Majumdar. “I believe we responded candidly and constructively to the lack of diversity in the 2020 film award nominations. Those heavy sessions with contributors informing the review from our members and across the industry were a turning point. We’ve embraced the review’s recommendations and we’re starting to see the impact. Rather than being a tick box exercise, it reflected a long overdue shift in our industries to address all forms of under-representation and helped level the playing field so that all talents and all stories are seen and recognized equally.”