Entertainment & Arts

Mike Leigh to receive Bafta fellowship

Mike Leigh
Image caption Leigh's films include Life is Sweet, Naked, Secrets and Lies and Topsy-Turvy

Veteran British film-maker Mike Leigh is to receive a Bafta Fellowship at this year's British Academy Film Awards, organisers have announced.

The 71-year-old said he was "moved, delighted and surprised" to be awarded the Academy's highest honour.

The director was previously presented a special Bafta in 1996 for outstanding British contribution to cinema.

His latest film, Mr Turner, is up for four awards at this year's ceremony but was shut out of the main categories.

Amanda Berry, Bafta's chief executive, called Leigh "a true innovator, an artist and an exceptional film-maker" who had made an "outstanding and exceptional contribution to film".

The five-time Oscar nominee will receive his honour at Sunday's Baftas, which are being hosted by Stephen Fry at the Royal Opera House in London.

Image copyright Film company
Image caption His latest film saw Timothy Spall play JMW Turner

Eyebrows were raised when Mr Turner, Leigh's portrait of the English artist JMW Turner, was left out of this year's best film and Best British film shortlists.

Timothy Spall also missed out on a best actor nomination, despite being named best actor at last year's Cannes Film Festival.

However, the film did receive recognition for its cinematography, costume design, production design and for its make-up and hair.

The biopic is also up for four Oscars, one for its score and three more for its cinematography, production design and costumes.

Leigh, whose other films include Secrets and Lies, Naked and Topsy-Turvy, will be honoured with a special luncheon at London's Savoy Hotel on the day before the Baftas.

Previous recipients of the fellowship include Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and Dame Helen Mirren.

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