Entertainment & Arts

Sir Alan Parker to receive Bafta fellowship

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Media captionDirector Sir Alan Parker: "It's a terrible responsibility"

Director Sir Alan Parker is to be awarded the British Academy fellowship at next month's Bafta Film Awards.

The annual prize, given to Martin Scorsese last year, is the highest accolade the Academy can bestow.

Sir Alan, 67, whose works include The Commitments and Bugsy Malone, said he was "enormously flattered".

The British director, whose films have won 19 Baftas, will collect the award at the ceremony to be held in London's Royal Opera House on 10 February.

Previous winners of the prize have included Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick.

Image caption Parker received his knighthood in 2002

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.

"I'm delighted that the Academy has taken this opportunity to recognise Sir Alan with the Fellowship this year."

Sir Alan, whose other movies include Midnight Express, Mississippi Burning and Pink Floyd's The Wall, 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."

As well as his film-making, Sir Alan also served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the British Film Institute, was the founding chairman of the UK Film Council in 1999 and was a founding member of the Directors Guild of Great Britain, which has since honoured him with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

He was knighted in 2002 for services to the British film industry,

This year's Baftas ceremony will be hosted by Stephen Fry and broadcast on BBC One and BBC One HD, following a red carpet show on BBC Three presented by Edith Bowman.

Spielberg's US civil war drama Lincoln leads the way with 10 nominations, including best film and best actor for Daniel Day-Lewis, while Les Miserables and Life of Pi have nine apiece.

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