DIRECTOR Alan Parker, whose movies have included Evita and The Commitments, is to be recognised with an honorary award at next month's Bafta Film Awards.
The 68-year-old, who was the founding chairman of the UK Film Council, will be awarded the Bafta Fellowship for his "outstanding and exceptional contribution to film".
He made his first feature film as a director and writer in 1976 with children's gangster musical Bugsy Malone. The hard-hitting Midnight Express - about the experiences of an American student in a Turkish prison - followed in 1978, winning a best director Bafta.
He said: "When you make your first film, you're sure it will be your last. And then you squeeze your eyes together and suddenly, 40 years later, you're at Bafta getting an award like this.
"I'm of course enormously flattered and honoured."
He will be presented with the Academy Fellowship at the EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony at London's Royal Opera House on February 10.
He has previously been presented with Bafta Awards for outstanding British contribution to cinema, among his many awards.
John Willis, chairman of the Academy, said: "Sir Alan Parker is a hugely distinctive film-maker, 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 film-making.
"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."
The ceremony, hosted by Stephen Fry, will be broadcast on BBC1.