Peter Greenaway

LONDON — British helmer Peter Greenaway is to receive the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award at the British Academy Film Awards at London’s Royal Opera House on Sunday.

BAFTA’s award is presented annually in honor of Michael Balcon. Previous recipients include Mike Leigh, Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jarman, and Ridley and Tony Scott.

Nik Powell, chairman of BAFTA’s film committee, said: “Peter Greenaway is an iconic British filmmaker who has worked with many of our most accomplished actors, including Michael Gambon, Tim Roth, Ewan McGregor and the recipient of this year’s BAFTA Fellowship, Dame Helen Mirren. I’d delighted that Peter is being recognized with this award for his distinctive and innovative filmmaking career.”

Peter Greenaway said: “Given the always complex effort involved, to be permitted in the first place to make films with so many collaborators always astonishes me, and to be permitted the license to do so with such freedom to continually experiment even more so.

“Everyone agrees that cinema is changing its characteristics very fast and to be awarded a BAFTA for trying to contribute to that change is a pleasure and a delight, an encouragement and an acknowledgment that the effort is valuable, certainly for myself and certainly for all those numerous collaborators who have assisted me in this effort over more than thirty years.”

Greenaway’s latest film, “Eisenstein in Guanajuato,” is shooting in Mexico and is scheduled for release later this year.

Greenaway made his first feature film in 1980, “The Falls,” which was the first of many collaborations with composer Michael Nyman. His critical breakthrough came in 1982 with 17th-century drama “The Draughtsman’s Contract.” He went on to make such seminal works as “Drowning by Numbers” and “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover.”

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