Film and TV producer Pippa Harris is to be confirmed as the new chair of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts on Monday evening. She will succeed Jane Lush, who will continue at the organization as deputy chair.
Harris has herself been deputy chair for a year and headed up BAFTA’s film committee since 2015. She is expected to serve a two-year term as chair.
Harris was in charge of the BAFTA task force that looked at harassment and bullying in the business. It helped pave the way for new industry guidelines unveiled earlier this year. She has been a longtime supporter of greater diversity and the need for gender parity in senior production roles.
“The last year has been a difficult and turbulent time for many in our industry, and I want to pay tribute to the calm, determined leadership that Jane has shown,” Harris said. “Now more than ever, it’s vital that we continue to expand our outreach initiatives, scholarship program and talent-development schemes in order to ensure that those entering the industry are encouraged and supported regardless of their background, race or gender.”
Harris is a former BBC drama executive and set up Neal Street Productions, in 2003, alongside Sam Mendes. Her recent credits include Sky series “Britannia,” Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful,” and the BBC’s “Call the Midwife.” Her film credits include “Revolutionary Road.”
Her elevation as BAFTA chair follows the academy’s usual procedure of having an incoming chair serve first as deputy chair for a year. Likewise, Lush’s move down to deputy chair conforms to BAFTA’s practice of having the outgoing chair take the deputy position for a year to help ensure continuity.