The charity behind the British Academy Film Awards - the British version of the Oscars - has made its first step into Asia by starting educational projects in Hong Kong. The British Academy of Film and Television Acts (Bafta) also marked its move with a special award to centenarian entertainment mogul Sir Run Run Shaw. Until now the academy's only overseas office has been in the United States, but it is ready to expand its influence in another continent with a booming creative scene. "We see Asia as an incredibly creative region with growing importance as content creator," Bafta chief executive Amanda Berry said. "Hong Kong makes us very welcome. We want to expand into China, and it's probably easier to start in Hong Kong." To get things started, Eddie Redmayne from the film version of Les Miserables has flown in to give an acting master class to students at the Academy for Performing Arts today. The academy - which specialises in television, movies and games and whose film awards have gone to such movie legends as Francois Truffaut, Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock - also announced it would launch a scholarship enabling two local people to fly to Britain for postgraduate studies and two Britons to come to Hong Kong to work in exchange. The scholarship winners will be free to choose any discipline, such as directing, scriptwriting and games development. Also in its plans - if it can secure funds - is to invite some of the charity's 7,000 members to share their experiences in classes. The 106-year-old Shaw, who made a substantial donation to Bafta in 1977 and is honoured by a theatre bearing his name, will receive Bafta's Special Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to cinema. The charity's Hong Kong advisory board, which includes producer Nansun Shi, Peter Chan Ho-sun and actress Shu Kei among others, is particularly keen on bringing world-class production teams behind the camera to share their experiences with local veterans. The academy is also in talks with the Hong Kong International Film Festival to show some of the Bafta-nominated films during the annual event. Apart from increasing the charity's influence away from home, it is hoped that the activities will help Western moviemakers learn more about Asian productions, laying the foundation for future collaboration. "Films are made a lot more quickly here," Berry said, adding that the abundance of funding made the local movie scene energetic. But Bafta has no plans in the meantime to create an Asian version of its awards or to set up an office in Hong Kong. "It is difficult to recreate the voting mechanism here," Berry said. Bafta winners are selected by the charity's members.