The awards draw their inspiration from quintessential British humour and aim to support filmmakers and actors on their creative path.
The DAFTAS is founded by London-based publisher and journalist Tamara Orlova, as a tribute to her late partner Joe Alvarez. Joe’s unmistakable sense of humour lit up London and the international showbiz community for over two decades, before succumbing to cancer in October 2019.
Always out and about on the showbiz scene of London, Tamara and Joe used to be frequent on the red carpets of film awards, premieres, and festivals. Having closely watched how one awards ceremony after another took ever more lecturing and patronising stance, Tamara and Joe were hoping to one day set up a mock BAFTAS ceremony where there will be no politics and no lecturing, only healthy humour and films. It was Joe Alvarez who came up with the name DAFTAS. For a long time after that, the project was nothing more than a few lines written in Tamara’s notebook.
While dealing with the grieving process, Tamara headed for a short break in Tenerife – her partner’s favourite place for holidaying. Sitting on a windy beach of Las Teresitas, Tamara was gathering her thoughts and drawing plans for the future. It was that precise moment when the page of the notebook containing some initial ideas about DAFTAS flew out of the pad and started swirling in the wind.
Tamara took it as a sign that this page must have something of utmost importance. The sheet had ‘DAFTAS’ written at the top of it. A mere one and a half months later, the inaugural DAFTAS awards ceremony took place in a Variety Screening Room at the Soho Sanctum Hotel in London.