Awarded annually, the Fellowship is the highest accolade bestowed by BAFTA upon an individual in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, games or television. Previous recipients include Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Elizabeth Taylor, Stanley Kubrick, Billy Wilder, Ken Loach, Michael Caine, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Judi Dench, Vanessa Redgrave and Martin Scorsese.
Schoonmaker’s acclaimed career has spanned more than 50 years, and her celebrated partnership with Martin Scorsese has garnered nominations for nine BAFTA Awards, winning Best Editing in 1982 for Raging Bull. Goodfellas in 1991 received multiple BAFTA and Oscar nominations as did The Aviator (2005) and The Departed (2007). Her career-long partnership with the director will continue with The Irishman, which is set to be released by Netflix this year.
Schoonmaker said, “I am staggered to be asked to join such an illustrious group as the BAFTA Fellows and particularly moved and honoured to be joining two of the most important people in my life – my director, Martin Scorsese, and my late husband, Michael Powell (and his partner Emeric Pressburger) – all of whom have been given BAFTA Fellowships. The British Cinema has been a huge influence on Martin Scorsese and through his teachings on me, I am blessed to be able to help him with the continuing restoration of the Powell and Pressburger legacy. I give my deepest thanks to BAFTA for honouring that work and my work as Scorsese’s editor with this Fellowship.”
Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive of BAFTA, said: “We are thrilled to honour Thelma Schoonmaker with a BAFTA Fellowship, celebrating her career as one of the film industry’s most respected editors responsible for some of cinema’s most iconic and treasured moments.”