Bafta Press

Academy Fellowship for Terry Gilliam

Film director Terry Gilliam to receive the Academy Fellowship at the at the Orange British Academy Film Awards.

Terry Gilliam will be presented with the Academy Fellowship at the Orange British Academy Film Awards ceremony on Sunday 8 February (BAFTA / Michele Turriani).

On Sunday 8 February 2009, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts will present Terry Gilliam with the Academy Fellowship at the Orange British Academy Film Awards ceremony at London’s Royal Opera House.

Awarded annually by the Academy, the Fellowship is the highest accolade bestowed upon an individual in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film. Previously honoured Fellows include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Sean Connery, Elizabeth Taylor, Julie Christie, John Barry, Stanley Kubrick and Judi Dench. Last year’s recipient was Anthony Hopkins.

Finola Dwyer, Chair of BAFTA’s Film Committee, said: “We’re delighted to make Terry a fellow of the Academy: he is one of the most original, imaginative and innovative directors working in the industry today.”

Terry Gilliam adds: “This is a great honour for someone who needs so many other people to do his job.”

In a career spanning five decades, Terry has enjoyed BAFTA, Academy Award and Golden Globe success. Not only an acclaimed director, Terry has also been lauded for his screenwriting for Brazil (1985) and animation for the likes of Life of Brian (1979).

Born in Minnesota, Terry graduated from Occidental college in Los Angeles before moving to New York to work with MAD Comics creator, Harvey Kurtzman. After a time as assistant editor on Kurtzman’s HELP! Magazine, Terry worked as a cartoonist, magazine illustrator, advertising copywriter and art director.

In 1969, Terry teamed up with Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin to form the now legendary Monty Python’s Flying Circus. In 1975, the group’s first film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, marked Terry’s feature length directorial debut; he co-directed the iconic comedy with Terry Jones.

Following this success, Terry has gone on to work with some of the most interesting actors of our generation including Jeff Bridges, Christina Ricci, Brad Pitt, Benicio Del Toro, Robert de Niro and Ellen Barkin. He has found both popular and critical acclaim with a diverse range of films including Jabberwocky (1977), Time Bandits (1981), The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988), The Fisher King (1991), Twelve Monkeys (1995), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), The Brothers Grimm (2005) and Tideland (2005).

His future projects include a return to The Man Who Killed Don Quixote and most recently, he completed Heath Ledger’s final film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which also stars Lily Cole, Verne Troyer, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law.

The Orange British Academy Film Awards begin on BBC Two from 8pm, continuing on BBC One from 9pm on Sunday 8 February. A preview show featuring interviews from the red carpet will be broadcast on BBC Three from 7pm.

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For further information, please contact Freud Communications:

Jo Fernihough: Jo.fernihough@freud.com / 020 3003 6386
Vicky Grayson: vicky.grayson@freud.com / 020 3003 6327