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Errol Morris delivers the 2011 BAFTA David Lean Lecture

7 October 2011
Errol Morris

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts will welcome multi award-winning documentary filmmaker Errol Morris to BAFTA HQ to deliver BAFTA’s annual film lecture in the year BAFTA reinstate a Documentary category at the Film Awards.

Errol Morris is one of the world’s great documentary filmmakers with a dozen major film and television credits such as The Thin Blue Line, Gates of Heaven, A Brief History of Time and S.O.P. Standard Operating Procedure. His films have garnered many awards including a Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival, the Silver Bear at Berlin International Film Festival, an Independent Spirit Award, and the 2003 American Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for Fog of War, a profile of former Secretary of Defence Robert S. McNamara.

Morris’ long career includes stints as a private eye, film programmer and commercial director – all skills that contribute to his wonderfully idiosyncratic approach to documentary filmmaking. He incorporates dramatic recreation, confessional interview, investigative journalism and a real knowledge of cinematic style and convention into an approach to documentary that is distinctively his own.

Dogwoof will release Morris’ latest film Tabloid on 11 November 2011 in the UK.

The Academy’s annual David Lean Lecture is generously funded by The David Lean Foundation. This film lecture series is designed to educate, inform and inspire practitioners by providing insight into the experiences of some of the world’s best and most compelling filmmakers and to provide a forum for further discussion of their outstanding creative achievements. The lecture series also serves to carry on the legacy of the great director David Lean, one of the founders of the British Film Academy (as it was then known) in 1947 and a continuing inspiration to many through his exceptional body of work.

BAFTA’s Film Committee Chairman, Nik Powell, says: “Errol Morris is one of the world’s iconic filmmakers and it’s a true honour to have him deliver the 2011 David Lean Lecture. This is the Lecture’s eleventh year; through it we offer a platform for truly great directorial talents to talk about issues at the heart of their work and explore what drives them as artists. While we have traditionally offered the platform to fiction directors, it felt right that in the year we are reinstating the Documentary category at the Film Awards that we should have one of the world’s master documentary directors give the lecture.

Errol is director not bound by easy designations; he uses many of the tools in the fiction filmmaker’s stylistic repertoire to tell great stories. And like all great storytellers, he is a profoundly keen observer of human behaviours. This is why he’s been consistently feted by industry peers, critics and audiences alike and why this promises to be a great night at BAFTA.”

The David Lean Lecture event will begin at 7:00pm with a champagne reception on Sunday 6 November 2011 at BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, W1J 9LN. The lecture itself will start at 7:45pm with a canapé reception after the event for all ticket holders.

The event is £15 and tickets can be purchased at

For further information please contact:

Olivia Jarvis

T 020 7247 4171
E [email protected]


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 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

About the David Lean Lecture

Established in 2001, the Lean Lecture has included presentations from Peter Weir, David Lynch, Atom Egoyan, Woody Allen, Oliver Stone, John Boorman, Ken Loach, Robert Altman and Sydney Pollack. A weekend tribute to Lean took the place of the lecture in Lean’s Centenary Year, 2008.

Dogwoof - Good with Film

Dogwoof is the leading UK independent film distributor for documentary and social issue films. Previous successes include Black Gold, widely credited with shifting Starbucks’ position on fairtrade; The Age of Stupid, which led to the 10:10 campaign; The End of the Line, which was largely responsible for Marks & Spencer and Pret a Manger changing their tuna policy; and (in partnership with The Co-operative) the Oscar® Nominated Burma VJ, which on the eve of the 64th Birthday of detained former leader Aung San Sui Kyi, was the first film ever to be screened at No. 10 Downing Street. More recent Dogwoof films include the 2011 Oscar® Nominated documentaries Restrepo, which stands as iTunes highest selling documentary in the UK, and Countdown to Zero which premiered in a 50-site simultaneous satellite feed. As well as achieving great success with these titles, Dogwoof is unique in that it identifies a double bottom-line and sees the potential of film to bring about social change. They recently launched a new website http and the Ambassadors programme which seeks to empower local entrepreneurs to screen Dogwoof films prior or during the films’ commercial release. For further information please visit