The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has announced that British filmmaker Sir Alan Parker is to receive BAFTA’s highest accolade, the Academy Fellowship, in recognition of outstanding and exceptional contribution to film. Previous 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, along with last year’s recipient Martin Scorsese.
“Sir Alan Parker is a hugely distinctive filmmaker, and a man of uncompromising vision and personality,” said John Willis, Chairman of the Academy. “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.”
Making his feature debut as writer and director in 1975 with Bugsy Malone, Parker’s subsequent films have gone on to win nineteen BAFTAs, ten Golden Globes and ten Oscars. 1977’s controversial Midnight Express won him the BAFTA for Direction, while his other works include The Commitments, Shoot The Moon, Pink Floyd: The Wall, Mississippi Burning, Evita, Angela’s Ashes and The Life of David Gale. “When you make your first film, you’re sure it will be your last,” stated Parker on today’s announcement. “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.”
The British Academy Film Awards takes place on Sunday, February 10th.