Emmy-winning TV producer Krishnendu Majumdar is set to become the next chairman of BAFTA and the first person of color to occupy the prestigious post. Majumdar will begin his two-year tenure in 2020 after the term of the current chair, Pippa Harris, ends.
Majumdar has first taken up the post of deputy chair, an appointment that was announced at the British academy’s annual general meeting June 3. Under the organization’s usual procedure, the deputy chair automatically takes over as chair the following year.
Majumdar, 44, has served for several years as the head of BAFTA’s television committee and is a member of the academy’s board. With Richard Yee, he co-founded London-based Me+You Productions, which makes documentary, drama and comedy projects. The company’s credits include “Sick of It,” with Karl Pilkington; “An Idiot Abroad,” which starred Ricky Gervais and Warwick Davis and earned a BAFTA nomination; and “Hoff the Record,” a mockumentary about “Knight Rider” star David Hasselhoff, which won an International Emmy in 2016.
Besides its renowned film and television awards, BAFTA runs programs, workshops and masterclasses for emerging talent, including its Breakthrough Brits and Elevate initiatives. The latter is designed to promote the careers of underrepresented groups in the entertainment industry, including women and ethnic minorities.
When he becomes chairman in 2020, Majumdar will follow in the footsteps of some of the industry’s most illustrious names. David Lean (“Lawrence of Arabia,” “A Passage to India”) was BAFTA’s first chairman, in 1947; successors have included Carol Reed, Richard Attenborough and David Parfitt. Harris, who started Neal Street Productions with Sam Mendes, began her term as BAFTA chair last year.
“I am delighted that Krish has been elected as deputy chair of BAFTA,” Harris said. “He has been a passionate supporter and advocate of our work for many years, especially our learning and new talent initiatives. I’m looking forward to working closely with him over what promises to be an exciting year ahead.”
Harris is the fourth woman to hold the post of BAFTA chair. The first was Hilary Bevan Jones, in 2006.