BAFTA has in recent years honored such filmmakers, executives and companies as Peter Greenaway, Tessa Ross and Working Title — as well as the Harry Potter franchise. This year, the org is giving its Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award to BBC Films. The feature branch of the broadcasting giant is 25 this year and, along with Film4 and the BFI, is one of the main backers of local movies.
BBC Films, run by Christine Langan, has earned more than 20 BAFTAs and 100 nominations in the past quarter century including for Billy Elliot, An Education and Philomena. This year, it has several nods with Matthew Warchus’ Pride and debut feature Lilting. Upcoming titles in which it has a hand include Woman In Gold, Mr Holmes and The Lady In The Van.
Nik Powell, Chairman of BAFTA’s Film Committee, said today, “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 catalogue. 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 UK and further afield. Here’s to the next 25 years and congratulations to Christine Langan and her team.”
The prize will be handed out on February 8 during the BAFTA Film Awards at London’s Royal Opera House.