Sunday 17 December 2017

Leigh to receive Bafta Fellowship

Mike Leigh will get a Bafta Fellowship this weekend
Mike Leigh will get a Bafta Fellowship this weekend

Director Mike Leigh is being honoured with a Bafta Fellowship despite his latest film Mr Turner being snubbed at the awards.

The biopic, starring Timothy Spall as painter JMW Turner, failed to pick up any major Bafta nominations when they were announced last month.

But the Secrets And Lies filmmaker will be receiving Bafta's "highest accolade" at the awards ceremony, at London's Royal Opera House on Sunday.

He follows in the footsteps of Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Laurence Olivier, Elizabeth Taylor, Judi Dench and last year's recipient Helen Mirren by receiving the Fellowship, awarded for "an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film".

The Vera Drake filmmaker said: "What a privilege to be honoured with the Bafta Fellowship. I'm moved, delighted and surprised."

Bafta chief executive Amanda Berry said: "Mike Leigh is one of Britain's finest filmmakers, so I am delighted that we will honour him with the Fellowship, recognising his outstanding and exceptional contribution to film.

"He is a true innovator, an artist and an exceptional filmmaker, which is why last year the Film Committee voted unanimously to award him the Fellowship, the highest honour that Bafta bestows."

Mr Turner won rave reviews and landed Spall a best actor award at Cannes but the film only received four Bafta nominations, with none of them in the major categories.

Eddie Redmayne, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Keaton and Jake Gyllenhaal are up for best actor at Sunday's ceremony.

Felicity Jones, Julianne Moore, Reese Witherspoon, Amy Adams and Rosamund Pike are nominated for best actress.

The Grand Budapest Hotel leads the Bafta nominations list with 11, one ahead of Birdman and The Theory of Everything.

Press Association

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