BAFTA has presented Special Awards to longstanding Film4 executive Sue Bruce-Smith and DoP Roger Pratt (Batman). Bruce-Smith, Deputy Director at Film4, was recognized with a Special Award for her outstanding contribution to British cinema with speakers at a Friday event including former Film4 boss Tessa Ross, BFI Deputy CEO Ben Roberts, producer Gail Egan, and current Film4 boss Daniel Battsek. Bruce-Smith, who has worked on movies including Slumdog Millionaire, 12 Years A Slave, Under The Skin, and The Favourite, said, “Over the last 30 years, from my somewhat fluky start in the business, I have developed a real love of independent film, film’s power and the collaborative process required for its creation. The world seems such a strange place at the moment and the arts – and within that film – has such an important role to play. I am very grateful to BAFTA for this Award and for prompting me to encourage all women out there not to limit themselves. Be properly ambitious and confident in your own ability to see that ambition realized.” Meanwhile, Batman, Twelve Monkeys and The End Of The Affair DoP Roger Pratt, cinematographer on two Harry Potter films, was recognized with a Special Award for outstanding contribution to cinematography. A Sunday afternoon event to mark the occasion was compered by producer Stephen Woolley. Speakers included directors Mike Leigh, Terry Gilliam, Richard Eyre, and BAFTA-winning gaffer Chuck Finch.

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 Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts production designer Stuart Craig is to receive a Lifetime Achievement award at the British Film Designers Guild awards on February 9th. Three-time Oscar winner Craig has worked on all eight films in the Potter franchise and was also a key influence on the franchise’s theme park rides at Universal Studios and the WB Studio Tour at Leavesden. He won Oscars for his work on Ghandi, Dangerous Liaisons and The English Patient and has received 14 BAFTA nominations.

 

Veteran distribution figure Mark Batey is to step down as Chief Executive of UK trade body the Film Distributors Association this spring. FDA President and producer David Puttnam, commented, “Mark has brought expert industry knowledge as well as tremendous professionalism to his role at the FDA and will be very greatly missed.  After twenty years of exceptional work at the helm of FDA, following his many successful years in the sector it would have been quite wrong to attempt to dissuade him from seeking a new challenge elsewhereMark has quite literally transformed the FDA and its various work programmes over these past two decades, and leaves the organization in vigorous shape and in the hands of an extremely capable team.” Details of recruitment plans for Bateys successor are to be announced in due course. Batey added, I have hugely enjoyed my two decades at FDA, working with a wonderful team of people. The organization has developed significantly, working on behalf of an incredibly dynamic sector that drives the release of over 900 digital theatrical releases a year. Looking ahead, Im delighted to say that 2019 seems set to be yet another outstanding year for cinema-going in the UK.