LONDON — BBC Films, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, will receive the outstanding British contribution to cinema award at the EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony at London’s Royal Opera House on Feb. 8.
Previous recipients include Mike Leigh, Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jarman, Ridley and Tony Scott, Working Title Films, the Harry Potter series of films, John Hurt and Tessa Ross. Last year’s recipient was Peter Greenaway.
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 catalog. 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 U.K. and further afield.”
Christine Langan, head of BBC Films, commented: “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 filmmakers, 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 galvanized in our efforts to support and promote the industry by this prestigious award from BAFTA.”
BBC Films has produced over 250 films, including Anthony Minghella’s “Truly Madly Deeply” in 1990, the U.K.’s first homegrown 3D film, “StreetDance 3D,” and most recently “Pride.”
It 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 sees itself as a champion of up-and-coming filmmakers, over the years introducing auteurs such as Lynne Ramsay, Andrea Arnold and Pawel Pawlilowski — a tradition that continues with the work of Rufus Norris, Morgan Matthews and Carol Morley.
It has over 20 BAFTAs and 100 nominations to its name. 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.