This Tuesday morning, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts has announced that this year’s annual BAFTA Fellowship recipient will be the one and only director Mike Leigh.
Mike Leigh commented in a statement on the honor saying “What a privilege to be honoured with the BAFTA Fellowship. I’m moved, delighted and surprised.”
Mike Leigh’s films are always a statement of excellence having since 1996, several Academy Award nominations alongside three competitive BAFTA wins. Previous BAFTA honours for Mike Leigh include Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema, awarded in 1996 and his 2014 BAFTA honor the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Artistic Excellence in Directing. Leigh’s latest film Mr. Turner, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and screened at the Toronto Film Festival, revolves around the Eccentric British painter J.M.W. Turner, portrayed in Leigh’s feature by Timothy Spall as he sees through the last 25 years of his life and becomes secretly involved with a seaside landlady.
Mr Turner has been nominated for four awards at this years ceremony including Best Cinematography, Best Make Up & Hair, Best Costume Design and Best Production Design.
Chief Executive of BAFTA Amanda Berry also added saying “Mike Leigh is one of Britain’s finest filmmakers, so I am delighted that we will honour him with the Fellowship, recognising his outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, at this Sunday’s EE British Academy Film Awards. He is a true innovator, an artist and an exceptional filmmaker, which is why last year the Film Committee voted unanimously to award him the Fellowship, the highest honour that BAFTA bestows. We look forward to celebrating his remarkable career.”
On the day prior to the awards, Saturday Mike Leigh will join a number of close colleagues and friends at a special BAFTA lunch, to be held in his honour at the Awards’ Official Hotel, The Savoy.
Following in the footsteps of names like Charlie Chaplin, Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese and last years recipient Helen Mirren. Mike Leigh will be in historic company as he is presented with the award at the EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony, which will take place on February 8th at London’s Royal Opera House. The ceremony will be broadcast on BBC One.
About the Author
James Rush Editor-in-Chief of Tastic Film Magazine.