BAFTA's stated charitable purpose is to "support, develop and promote the art forms of the moving image, by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public". In addition to high profile awards ceremonies BAFTA runs a year-round programme of educational events including film screenings and tribute evenings. BAFTA is supported by a membership of about 6,000 people from the film, television and video game industries.
The Academy's awards are in the form of a theatrical mask designed by American sculptor Mitzi Cunliffe, which was commissioned by the Guild of Television Producers in 1955.
The ceremony previously took place in April or May and since 2002 it takes place in February in order to precede the Oscars. The awards are mostly open to all nationalities, though there is an award for Outstanding British Film and Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Producer or Director. Only UK films are eligible for the categories of The British Short Film and British Short Animation awards.
The Awards ceremony is delayed broadcast on British television the same evening (usually BBC One), and across the world.