Los Angeles, June 28, 2011 -- The British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles® (BAFTA Los Angeles) will honor Academy Award® winning writer/director John Lasseter with the Britannia Award for Worldwide Contribution to Filmed Entertainment, and BAFTA winning director David Yates with the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing at the 2011 BAFTA Los Angeles Britannia Awards on Wednesday, November 30 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
The Britannia Award is BAFTA Los Angeles’ highest accolade, a celebration of achievements honoring individuals and companies that have dedicated their careers or corporate missions to advancing the entertainment arts.
“John Lasseter and David Yates are master creators of joy and imagination,” says Nigel Lythgoe, Chairman of BAFTA Los Angeles. “Their high standard of art, perception and pure entertainment is unparalleled. The worldwide success of Mr. Lasseter for Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios and Mr. Yates’ contribution to the final four parts of the ‘Harry Potter’ franchise makes them global wizards in their own right, and are delighted to honor these remarkable filmmakers with this year’s Britannia Award.”
The Britannia Awards are presented annually at a gala dinner, where peers and colleagues celebrate the work and accomplishments of the distinguished honorees. Proceeds from the gala ceremony support BAFTA Los Angeles’ ongoing education, scholarship, community outreach and archival projects.
The first Britannia Award was presented to Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli, pioneer producer of the James Bond films. Since the awards were first created in1989 Britannia Awards have been given to Michael Caine, Tom Cruise, Robert De Niro, Clint Eastwood, Colin Firth, Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Anthony Hopkins, the late Stanley Kubrick (in whose name the award is now given), George Lucas, Sean Penn, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Chris Nolan, Emily Blunt, Sean Penn, Dame Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet and Denzel Washington.
Other awards which are presented at the annual Britannia evening include the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film, the Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year, and the Charlie Chaplin Award for Excellence in Comedy.
John Lasseter is a two-time Academy Award®-winning director and creatively oversees all films and associated projects from Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios. Lasseter made his feature directorial debut in 1995 with “Toy Story,” the first-ever feature-length computer-animated film and, since then, has gone on to direct “A Bug’s Life,” “Toy Story 2” and “Cars.” He returns to the driver’s seat, directing this summer’s “Cars 2.”
His executive-producing credits include “Monsters, Inc.,” “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “WALL•E,” “Bolt” and last year’s critically acclaimed “Up,” the first animated film ever to open the Cannes Film Festival and the recipient of two Academy Awards® for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score. Lasseter also served as executive producer for Disney’s Oscar®-nominated films “The Princess and the Frog” and “Tangled” as well as Pixar’s most recent Academy Award winner for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song, “Toy Story 3,” which is based on a story written by Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich.
Lasseter wrote, directed and animated Pixar’s first short films, including “Luxo Jr.,” “Red’s Dream,” “Tin Toy” and “Knick Knack.” “Luxo Jr.” was the first three-dimensional computer-animated film ever to be nominated for an Academy Award® when it was nominated for Best Animated Short Film in 1986; “Tin Toy” was the first three-dimensional computer-animated film ever to win an Academy Award® when it was named Best Animated Short Film in 1988. Lasseter has executive-produced all of the studio’s subsequent shorts, including “Boundin’,” “One Man Band,” “Lifted,” “Presto,” “Partly Cloudy,” “Day & Night” and the Academy Award®-winning “Geri’s Game” (1997) and “For the Birds” (2000).
Under Lasseter’s supervision, Pixar’s animated feature and short films have earned a multitude of critical accolades and film-industry honors. Lasseter himself received a Special Achievement Oscar® in 1995 for his inspired leadership of the “Toy Story” team. He and the rest of the screenwriting team of “Toy Story” also earned an Academy Award® nomination for Best Original Screenplay, the first time an animated feature had ever been recognized in that category.
In 2009, Lasseter was honored at the 66th Venice International Film Festival with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement. The following year, he became the first producer of animated films to receive the Producers Guild of America’s David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Motion Pictures. Lasseter’s other recognitions include the 2004 Outstanding Contribution to Cinematic Imagery award from the Art Directors Guild, an honorary degree from the American Film Institute, and the 2008 Winsor McCay Award from ASIFA-Hollywood for career achievement and contribution to the art of animation.
Prior to the formation of Pixar in 1986, Lasseter was a member of the Computer Division of Lucasfilm Ltd., where he designed and animated “The Adventures of Andre and Wally B,” the first-ever piece of character-based three-dimensional computer animation, and the computer-generated Stained Glass Knight character in the 1985 Steven Spielberg-produced film “Young Sherlock Holmes.”
Lasseter was part of the inaugural class of the Character Animation program at California Institute of the Arts and received his B.F.A. in film in 1979. Lasseter is the only two-time winner of the Student Academy Award for Animation, for his CalArts student films “Lady and the Lamp” (1979) and “Nitemare” (1980). His very first award came at the age of 5, when he won $15 from the Model Grocery Market in Whittier, Calif., for a crayon drawing of the Headless Horseman.
David Yates previously directed the blockbuster “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” for which he won an Empire Award for Best Director, and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” As the director of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” he helmed both Part 1 and Part 2.
An award-winning television director, Yates won his first BAFTA TV Award for his work on the BBC miniseries “The Way We Live Now,” a period drama starring Matthew Macfadyen and Miranda Otto. In 2003, he directed the drama series “State of Play,” for which he received a BAFTA TV Award nomination and won the Directors Guild of Great Britain (DGGB) Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement. The project also won the Broadcasting Press Guild Award, the Royal Television Society (RTS) Award, and Banff Television Festival’s Rockie Award for Best Series.
The following year, Yates directed the gritty two-part drama “Sex Traffic,” for which he won another BAFTA TV Award and earned his second DGGB Award nomination. The unflinching look at sex trafficking also won a number of international awards, including eight BAFTA TV and four RTS Awards, both including Best Drama, as well as the Jury Prize for Best Miniseries at the Reims International Television Festival, and a Golden Nymph at the Monte Carlo Television Festival.
Yates earned an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special for his work on the 2005 HBO movie “The Girl in the Café,” a love story starring Bill Nighy and Kelly Macdonald. His other television credits include the telefilm “The Young Visiters,” starring Jim Broadbent and Hugh Laurie, and the miniseries “The Sins,” starring Pete Postlethwaite and Geraldine James.
Yates grew up in St. Helens, Merseyside, and studied Politics at the University of Essex and at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He began his directing career with the short film “When I Was a Girl,” which he also wrote. The film brought him the prize for Best European Short Film at the Cork International Film Festival in Ireland and a Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco Film Festival. It also assured his entrance into the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield, England.
His graduation film, “Good Looks,” won a Silver Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival. In 1998, Yates made his feature film directorial debut with “The Tichborne Claimant,” starring Stephen Fry and John Gielgud. His most recent short film, 2002’s “Rank,” was nominated for a BAFTA Award.
BAFTA Los Angeles
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts' outreach programs in Los Angeles benefit members and other professionals working within the entertainment industry, as well as the Los Angeles community at large. The British Academy provides exclusive access to screenings, Q&As with talent and filmmakers, conversations with leading UK-based film and television executives and the Heritage Archive, featuring broadcast-quality interviews with distinguished British members of the film and television industries. Educational outreach for students and the Los Angeles community includes an after-school screening program for inner-city youth at the Helen Keller Park Recreation Center and a recent partnership with FilmAid to mentor young filmmakers. Additional programs include seminars in association with local universities and festivals, scholarships for post-graduate programs and recognizing professional and student talent with awards at film festivals throughout the U.S.
Maintaining a long tradition of recognizing the finest filmmaking and television talent, the British Academy hosts a series of social networking events, including the annual Britannia Awards, the Orange British Academy Film Awards Brunch, the Annual Garden Party, the British Comedy Festival & Awards Dinner and the Awards Season Film and Television Tea Parties in January and September. Its members vote annually for the prestigious Orange British Academy Film Awards as well as for the International Program category at the British Academy Television Awards. The annual Britannia Awards are held every November in Los Angeles, where it has previously honored such luminaries as Kirk Douglas, Sean Penn, Robert De Niro, Denzel Washington, Clint Eastwood, Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Caine and Martin Scorsese with Britannia Awards for Excellence in both film and television.