Pinewood and Shepperton Studios will receive the Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema at the Orange British Academy Film Awards in 2009.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is delighted to announce that Pinewood and Shepperton Studios will receive the award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema at the Orange British Academy Film Awards ceremony at London’s Royal Opera House on Sunday 8 February 2009.
Awarded annually, the award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema was introduced in 1978 and is presented in honour of Michael Balcon. The first recipients were the Special Visual Effects team for Superman and others include Kevin Brownlow, Mike Leigh, Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jarman, Lewis Gilbert, Channel Four Films, production manager Joyce Herlihy and stuntman Vic Armstrong. Last year’s winner was props master Barry Wilkinson whose career spans over 40 years on such iconic, British film franchises as Harry Potter and Bond.
Shepperton Studios and Pinewood Studios are Europe’s leading filming facilities and two of the world’s most prestigious studios. They are synonymous with world class British and international productions, and the impressive heritage of these industry stalwarts dates back nearly 75 years.
They have been home to some of the most successful, critically acclaimed and award winning feature films ever made such as The African Queen, David Lean’s Great Expectations, Dr Strangelove, Superman, Alien, The Shining, Gandhi, and most recently The Bourne Ultimatum and 20 of the 22 Bonds including Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.
The studios have grown alongside the film industry and now boast the largest sound stage in Europe. Originally built for The Spy Who Loved Me, it has since hosted the Louvre Gallery for The Da Vinci Code, a Greek fishing village for Mamma Mia! and a chocolate river for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Other globally unique facilities include the Underwater Stage which has been used by Joe Wright for Atonement, H Stage which became a full-scale Batcave in Batman Begins and the Korda Theatre which has mixed the sound for the award winning Shakespeare in Love and Gosford Park amongst many other films.
With over 1,500 films having been made at the studios, they have been a home away from home for many filmmakers such as Ridley Scott and Paul Greengrass. The studio has also nurtured such talent as Tim Burton who has shot five films at the studios including Sweeney Todd and Sleepy Hollow and this year’s two-time BAFTA nominee, Kate Winslet, who has completed seven films at the studios including Sense and Sensibility and Finding Neverland.
The studios are continuing to look to the future by providing vocational training to educate the UK’s world class creative sector and provide a blank canvas for the imagination of the international film community.
Finola Dwyer, Chair of BAFTA’s Film Committee, said: “Pinewood and Shepperton Studios have been at the creative heart of British filmmaking for over 70 years. This award recognises the role they have played in bringing to life some of the most memorable and iconic images in cinema history.”
Ivan Dunleavy, Chief Executive of Pinewood Shepperton plc adds: “We are absolutely thrilled that the role of Pinewood Studios and Shepperton Studios has been honoured in this way, recognising the skills of all the people who have worked there over the last 75 years and the contribution which the Studios have made to British cinema and the UK.”
The Orange British Academy Film Awards begin on BBC Two from 8pm, with the final hour 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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