The Hamptons Intl. Film Festival has tapped Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, co-chairs of U.K. production company Working Title Films, to receive the fest’s annual Golden Starfish Award for lifetime achievement.The duo receive the kudo for a track record of pics including “Les Miserables,” “Billy Elliot,” "Four Weddings and Funeral," “Atonement,” “The World’s End” and the upcoming Richard Curtis romantic comedy “About Time.”Renee Zellweger, who starred in Working Title’s “Bridget Jones’ Diary,” will introduce Bevan and Fellner during the October...
Formed by Tim Bevan with producer Sarah Radclyffe in 1984, Working Title began as a small, struggling outfit with big ideas. Speaking in 2005, Bevan recalled, “We would develop a script, that would take about 5% of our time; we’d find a director, that’d take about 5% of the time; and then we’d spend 90% of the time trying to juggle together deals from different sources to finance those films.” Over 30 years later, Working Title, in partnership with Universal, has made over 100 films that have grossed over $6 billion worldwide.
Working Title recently scored with the critically acclaimed “Baby Driver” and awards season should also be busy: Working Title has Stephen Frears’ “Victoria & Abdul” starring Dame Judi Dench and Joe Wright’s Winston Churchill biopic “Darkest Hour.”
The company’s early titles, partnered with UK TV channels Channel 4 and LWT, were a taste of things to come, beginning Working Title’s long-standing relationships with Stephen Frears, director of their 1985 debut feature “My Beautiful Laundrette”, and writer/director Richard Curtis, who wrote 1989’s “The Tall Guy.” It was Curtis that delivered the company their breakout hit 1994 “Four Weddings And A Funeral,” distributed by PolyGram Filmed Entertainment. After PFE changed hands in 1998, Working Title signed a deal with Universal, rumored to be worth $600 million and recently extended to 2020.
Together with Fellner, Bevan has been honored with the Producers Guild of America’s David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures, the PGA’s highest honor for motion picture producers. Both were presented with one of the highest film awards given to British filmmakers, the Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema, at the 2004 Bafta awards, as well as being made Commanders of the British Empire in the Queen’s 2005 birthday honors list.