Sir Christopher Lee to receive BFI Fellowship at 57th London Film Festival
Story by Jack Foley
THE Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, joined screen legend Sir Christopher Lee in celebrating his upcoming BFI Fellowship, the highest honour the BFI can bestow.
The Fellowship will be presented at the 2013 BFI London Film Festival Awards on Saturday, October 19, 2013, at Banqueting House, Whitehall, SW1.
As BFI Festival Director and Head of Cinemas Clare Stewart announced the complete jury line-up for the awards, the Mayor joined the BFI team, including CEO Amanda Nevill, in welcoming the array of creative and filmmaking talent to London including some of Britain’s finest filmmakers and actors
A BFI Fellowship is awarded to individuals in recognition of their outstanding contribution to film or television. Last year, the Fellowship was presented to Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton.
BFI Chief Executive Amanda Nevill commented: “The BFI Fellowship is awarded to those at the pinnacle of their profession. It is a truly illustrious moment to be honouring Sir Christopher Lee for his enormous and unique contribution to film during a Festival that is committed to excellence.”
Boris Johnson added: “Congratulations to Sir Christopher on being awarded this distinguished accolade for a film career that has been genuinely iconic. As the BFI London Film Festival gets underway, with a wonderful array of films from around the world, it’s a good time to celebrate great British film and film talent.
“London is one of the top three production centres in the world and at the centre of a dynamic and creative sector that is hugely important for our economy, so I’m delighted to welcome all the visiting filmmakers, industry professionals, as well as cinephiles, to this exciting festival where they can make new contacts, do business and see great films.”
And Sir Christopher Lee said: “It is a great privilege to be included amongst such a distinguished group of predecessors who have received this Award from the BFI.”
Knighted in 2009 for his services to drama and charity, Sir Christopher Lee can boast more than 250 acting credits for film and television.
Having made his feature debut in 1948 with Corridor of Mirrors, he first became a star in the mid-50s playing Frankenstein’s creature, then the title role of Dracula for Hammer Films.
In a career spanning more than eight decades, he has starred as Mycroft Holmes in Billy Wilder’s The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, as Lord Summerisle in cult classic The Wicker Man, as Scaramanga in 007 adventure The Man with the Golden Gun, and as Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.
Sir Christopher won a new worldwide audience when he starred as Saruman in the BAFTA and Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy and appeared as Count Dooku in the Star Wars prequels. He has also worked extensively with Tim Burton, including on Sleepy Hollow, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and with distinctive voice roles in Alice in Wonderland and Corpse Bride.
BFI will also be honouring Sir Christopher by screening several of his most iconic performances during the upcoming BFI blockbuster season GOTHIC: the dark heart of film.