The award will be presented at the EE British Academy Film Awards on Sunday 8 February
London, 28 January 2015: The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is delighted to announce that BBC Films, in its 25th year, will receive the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award at the EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony at London’s Royal Opera House on Sunday 8 February.
The Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award is presented annually in honour of Michael Balcon. Previous recipients include Mike Leigh, Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jarman, Mary Selway, Ridley and Tony Scott, Working Title Films, Lewis Gilbert, the Harry Potter series of films, John Hurt and Tessa Ross. Last year’s recipient was Peter Greenaway, the British writer and director.
Nik Powell, Chairman of BAFTA’s Film Committee, said: “I cannot think of a more deserving institution for this award than BBC Films, unbelievably in its 25th year and with more than 250 predominantly British films in its catalogue. With a wide range of films from populist British box office hits like Billy Elliot and Mrs. Brown's Boys D'Movie and an enviable collection of ground-breaking films, I hope that this award will be not simply a recognition of past and present achievements but also an affirmation of why BBC Films is so important for the film industry both here in the UK and further afield. Here’s to the next 25 years and congratulations to Christine Langan and her team.”
Christine Langan, Head of BBC Films, commented: “We’re truly delighted and honoured at BBC Films to receive the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award, especially in the year that we celebrate our 25th anniversary. For the past 25 years, great effort has gone into establishing BBC Films as a nurturing and collaborative home for filmmakers - one which showcases British talent to the world and deepens the impression of the British film industry as a vital cultural force. I want to thank all the amazing film makers, our many partners and a deeply committed team of BBC colleagues, past and present, who have made BBC Films the creative hub that it is today. It’s a real privilege to lead the team at BBC Films and we will all be galvanised in our efforts to support and promote the industry by this prestigious award from BAFTA.”
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2015, BBC Films is at the forefront of British independent filmmaking in the UK, developing and co-producing a slate of diverse and award-winning films. From Anthony Minghella's Truly Madly Deeply in 1990 to the huge success of the UK's first homegrown 3D film, StreetDance 3D, and most recently the critically acclaimed Pride, BBC Films has produced over 250 films and become a home for filmmakers.
Since its inception, BBC Films has collaborated with an array of acclaimed directors including Antonia Bird, Cary Fukunaga, David Cronenberg, John Crowley, James Marsh, Jane Campion, John Madden, Joanna Hogg, Tom Hooper, Ken Loach, Lone Scherfig, Michael Winterbottom, Sam Mendes, Stephen Daldry and Stephen Frears. BBC Films is a champion of up-and-coming filmmakers, over the years introducing auteurs such as Lynne Ramsay, Andrea Arnold and Pawel Pawlilowski to the world of film - a tradition that continues with the work of Rufus Norris, Morgan Matthews and Carol Morley. It is also recognised as a place where collaborations are fostered and creative talent can branch out, notably Armando Iannucci with In the Loop, Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope with Philomena and Ralph Fiennes with The Invisible Woman.
With over 20 BAFTAs and 100 nominations to its name, BBC Films has proved to be a bastion of quality British cinema. In BAFTA’s Best Film and Outstanding British Film categories alone, BBC Films has received 29 BAFTA nominations including three wins for films such as Billy Elliot, Fish Tank and My Summer of Love; in the Debut/Newcomer category, it has 13 nominations with five wins.
Last year saw Philomena, Good Vibrations, Saving Mr Banks and The Invisible Woman nominated at the EE British Academy Film Awards. This year sees Pride nominated for Outstanding British Film and Supporting Actress, and both Pride and Lilting have been nominated for Outstanding Debut.
The EE British Academy Film Awards will take place on 8 February at The Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden. Stephen Fry will be returning to host this year’s ceremony, which will be broadcast exclusively on BBC One in the UK – preceded by a red carpet show on BBC Three – and in all major territories around the world. On the night, www.bafta.org will also feature red carpet highlights, photography and winners interviews, as well as dedicated coverage on its social networks including Facebook (/BAFTA), Twitter (@BAFTA / #EEBAFTAs), Tumblr and Instagram.
For further information, please contact Freud Communications:
Kerry Porter Emma Micklewright
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round Learning & Events programme that offers unique access to some of the world’s most inspiring talent through workshops, masterclasses, lectures, scholarships and mentoring schemes, connecting with audiences of all ages and backgrounds across the UK, Los Angeles and New York. BAFTA relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing outreach work. For further information, visit www.bafta.org and www.bafta.org/guru.