BAFTA Awards Harry Potter Film Franchise

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is delighted to announce that the Harry Potter film series will receive the award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema at this year’s Orange British Academy Film Awards. JK Rowling and David Heyman will receive the award on behalf of the franchise during the ceremony at London’s Royal Opera House on Sunday 13 February 2011.

Awarded annually, the award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema was introduced in 1978 and is presented in honour of Michael Balcon. The first recipients were the Special Visual Effects team for Superman and others include Kevin Brownlow, Mike Leigh, Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jarman, Working Title, Lewis Gilbert, Channel Four Films and Pinewood & Shepperton Studios.

Starting in 2001 with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the film franchise from Warner Bros. Pictures has defined a decade of British filmmaking. As well as continually introducing exciting new performers to a global audience, the films have built a reputation for showcasing the wealth of British stage and screen acting talent.

The Harry Potter films have not only created stars in front of the camera, but have also highlighted the expertise within the British craft and technical industries, supporting a vast array of jobs throughout production. Their contribution to the British filmmaking industry was underlined last year when Warner Bros. Pictures, which has shepherded the film series from its inception, purchased Leavesden Studios in Hertfordshire. Leavesden Studios has been the Harry Potter base for the past ten years.

The films are nothing short of a box office phenomenon, with the first six films in the series grossing over $5.4billion worldwide, making it the top-grossing film franchise of all time. The numbers for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, as well as the anticipation for Part 2, opening on July 15, 2011, should ensure its place in film history for years to come.

Their achievements in filmmaking have been repeatedly recognised by industry peers, with the Harry Potter series garnering an array of nominations and awards at events across the globe. As well as notching up seven Oscar nominations, the series has so far garnered a total of 28 BAFTA nominations: five nominations at the British Academy Children’s Awards and 23 at the Film Awards, including this year’s two nominations in the Special Visual Effects and Make Up & Hair categories. In addition, the films have been nominated four times in the Children’s Awards public vote, winning twice (2003 & 2006 for The Chamber of Secrets and Goblet of Fire respectively); and also won the Orange Film of the Year public vote at the Film Awards in 2004 for The Prisoner of Azkaban.

  1. Well deserved – I am not a fan really of the films or the books but WB has done a fantastic job with that franchise.

  2. Bought and paid for. The stars have been belly-aching in the British press recently about the lack of awards recognition for the franchise, which has never deserved any beyond technical nods. Looks like they bought this unvoted for BAFTA award, given to shut them up. Although they have made a contribution to British cinema – they’ve employed a lot of people – so it’s the right award for them to get without having to pretend they are great movies.

  3. ….and while we’re about it, let’s not forget the huge role played in both the ‘Potter’ series AND the purchase of Leavesden studios by WB’s Production Supervisor ROY BUTTON…..he has fought tirelessly for many years in support of British films generally and POTTER specifically. And he does deserve recognition.

  4. Rupert Grint was the one of the main three complaining. Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson didn’t moan about the lack of recognition. Both of them want a career in film.

  5. Mike,

    The original book was called the Philosopher’s Stone by Rowling and the film followed suit, but they had changed the book title in the US because the American publishers didn’t think US kids would know what a philosopher was so the first film also had its title changed for the domestic market. As this is a press release from a British body it follows logic that they would name the original title.

  6. Well deserved. Not only are the films terrific, but somebody did a great job with those young actors, keeping their heads on straight through the years (at least publicly). No Lindsey Lohan moments for any of ’em! Congrats!

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