One of the country’s finest writer and directors is to be bestowed a BAFTA fellowship for his work in the industry. Alan Parker, who was responsible for one of my own personal favourite films in the Oscar-winning true-life classic, MISSISSIPPI BURNING, will receive the honour at the event on the 10th February. Here we have the press release announcing Parker’s award.

On Sunday 10 February, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) will present Sir Alan Parker with the Academy Fellowship at the EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony at the Royal Opera House, London. 

Awarded annually by BAFTA, the Fellowship is the highest accolade bestowed upon an individual in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film. Previously honoured Fellows include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Sean Connery, Elizabeth Taylor, Stanley Kubrick, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Judi Dench, Vanessa Redgrave and Christopher Lee. Martin Scorsese received the Fellowship at the Film Awards last February. John Willis, Chairman of the Academy, said:

“Sir Alan Parker is a hugely distinctive filmmaker, and a man of uncompromising vision and personality.? He has made an immense contribution to the British film industry, receiving a wide range of critical and public acclaim for his writing, producing and directing across almost 40 years of filmmaking. It’s almost impossible to highlight any one moment of his career, but the incredible 19 BAFTAs his films have won indicate the esteem in which he is held by his peers, as well as the outstanding nature of his work.? I’m delighted that the Academy has taken this opportunity to recognise Sir Alan with the Fellowship this year.” 

Sir Alan Parker added:

“When you make your first film, you’re sure it will be your last. And then you squeeze your eyes together and suddenly, forty years later, you’re at BAFTA getting an award like this. I’m of course enormously flattered and honoured.” 

Knighted in 2002 for services to the British film industry, Sir Alan’s career as a writer, director and producer has been much garlanded: his films have won nineteen BAFTAs, ten Golden Globes and ten Oscars.  His first feature film as writer and director was Bugsy Malone in 1975: Sir Alan was BAFTA-nominated for Direction and Screenplay, and won the Screenplay award.  1977’s controversial Midnight Express won him the BAFTA for Direction and John Hurt the award for Supporting Actor. Other works include The Commitments, Shoot The Moon, Pink Floyd The Wall, Mississippi Burning and, more recently, Evita, starring Madonna, Angela’s Ashes, and The Life of David Gale, starring Kevin Spacey and Kate Winslet. 

Sir Alan served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the British Film Institute, was the founding chairman of the UK Film Council in 1999 and was a founding member of the Directors Guild of Great Britain, which has since honoured him with its Lifetime Achievement Award.  Sir Alan has also been awarded Lifetime Achievement awards in Chicago, Munich, Prague and Warsaw, along with the Lumiere Medal from the Royal Photographic Society and was presented with the prestigious BAFTA Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema, given in honour of Michael Balcon, in 1985.  

The ceremony will be hosted by Stephen Fry and will be broadcast exclusively on BBC One and BBC One HD, preceded by a red carpet show on BBC Three hosted by Edith Bowman. The ceremony is also broadcast in all major territories around the world.  On the night, will feature red carpet highlights, photography and winners interviews, as well as dedicated coverage on its social networks including Facebook (/BAFTA), Twitter (@BAFTA / #EEBAFTAs), Tumblr and Pinterest