Honor recognizes outstanding contribution to film

LONDON — BAFTA is to fete helmer Alan Parker with its Fellowship, which will be presented at the academy’s film awards ceremony on Feb. 10.

The honor, which is the highest tribute the org bestows, is given in recognition of an outstanding contribution to film.

Parker’s films have received 19 BAFTA awards, with Parker himself converting five of his nine personal nominations into wins.

He was awarded a BAFTA television award for best single play for his 1975 World War II drama “The Evacuees.” The following year he took home the screenplay film award for his debut feature “Bugsy Malone.” His sophomore feature “Midnight Express” earned him a helmer award from BAFTA, a feat he repeated with 1991′s “The Commitments,” for which he also shared the best film prize as a producer.

He received Academy Award nominations as director for “Midnight Express” and “Mississippi Burning.”

He has not helmed a feature since 2003′s “The Life of David Gale.”

“Alan Parker is a hugely distinctive filmmaker, and a man of uncompromising vision and personality. He has made an immense contribution to the British film industry, receiving a wide range of critical and public acclaim for his writing, producing and directing across almost 40 years of filmmaking,” said BAFTA chairman John Willis.

“When you make your first film, you’re sure it will be your last and then you squeeze your eyes together and suddenly, 40 years later, you’re at BAFTA getting an award like this,” said Parker. “I’m of course enormously flattered and honored.”

Past recipients of the BAFTA Fellowship include Martin Scorsese, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick.

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