Ewan McGregor has been set as the recipient of the Humanitarian Award at this year’s British Academy Britannia Awards which are organized by BAFTA Los Angeles. McGregor, whose feature directing debut American Pastoral just premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, is being given the Humanitarian Award in recognition of his work with UNICEF.
The actor-director recently traveled to northern Iraq to see how the conflicts sweeping across the area are affecting children’s lives. He “is using his platform to bring awareness” to the horrors facing the children, says BAFTA LA. The org noted he has worked with UNICEF to help provide life-saving food and water, protection services, and healthcare to families in need.
“Ewan McGregor is not only a multi-talented individual, but has led by example in showing that even one person can make a huge difference in the life of a child,” said Kieran Breen, Chairman of BAFTA LA. “Given his most recent work in Iraq, and ongoing commitment to the fight against the horrific conditions in which children there are living, he is most deserving of this honor. We are thrilled to be able to recognize his work and shed light on the initiatives about which he is most passionate.”
McGregor broke out in Danny Boyle’s 1996 cult hit Trainspotting and recently reprised his role as Renton in Boyle’s Trainspotting 2 alongside Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner and Robert Carlyle. Sony releases February 3 next year. The following month, Disney releases the live-action Beauty And The Beast in which McGregor plays Lumière. Among his long list of feature credits are The Pillow Book, Velvet Goldmine, Young Adam, Big Fish, I Love You Philip Morris, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen and Moulin Rouge (scoring Golden Globe nominations for the latter two films). He also donned Jedi robes to play the young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel trilogy.
He’s currently in political thriller Our Kind Of Traitor and soon begins production on FX’s Fargo. He’ll play brothers Emmit and Ray Stussy in the Season 3 anthology which is set to air in 2017.
McGregor’s American Pastoral is based on Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. He stars opposite Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning with Lionsgate releasing October 21.
Idris Elba, Richard Curtis, Don Cheadle, Colin Firth, Mark Ruffalo and Orlando Bloom are previous Humanitarian Award recipients. Other 2016 Britannia Awards honorees in various categories include Ang Lee, Samuel L Jackson and Ricky Gervais.
The awards evening is BAFTA’s big night out in Hollywood which honors individuals who have dedicated their careers to advancing the art forms of the moving image in the U.S., UK and beyond. Proceeds from the gala ceremony support BAFTA Los Angeles’ ongoing education, scholarship, community outreach and archival projects. This year’s ceremony takes place October 28 at the Beverly Hilton and will be hosted by Jack Whitehall.