The BFI is to bestow its highest honour, its Fellowship, to the British film-maker Paul Greengrass.
Greengrass, who opened the festival in 2013 with Captain Phillips, said he was honoured and thrilled to receive the Fellowship. “I’m particularly touched, as the BFI has always supported my career and Bloody Sunday was financed through the National Lottery 15 years ago. Like so many people in our industry, I owe this wonderful organisation an enormous debt.”
The chairman of the BFI, Josh Berger, said Greengrass was a true pioneer and his skill for storytelling was as powerful and courageous as the stories and figures he brings to life. “His distinct ability to combine the visceral with the cerebral and offer a nuanced picture of heroism has injected a bold new realism into action thriller movies, leaving audiences around the world transfixed and eager for more.”
In recent years, the BFI has used the London Film Festival’s awards night to bestow the Fellowship upon the directors Steve McQueen and Stephen Frears and the actors Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter and Sir Christopher Lee. Other luminaries, including Hugh Grant, Mel Brooks and Al Pacino, have been given the same honour at other ceremonies.