Chiwetel Ejiofor to Receive Honorary BIFA

By Rosser, Michael | Screen International, November 24, 2015 | Go to article overview

Chiwetel Ejiofor to Receive Honorary BIFA


Rosser, Michael, Screen International


The Moët British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs) had announced that Chiwetel Ejiofor is to be honoured with The Richard Harris Award at this year's ceremony on Dec 6 at London's Old Billingsgate.

The award, introduced in 2002 in honour of actor Richard Harris, recognises outstanding contribution to British film by an actor. Previous winners have included John Hurt, David Thewlis, Bob Hoskins, Jim Broadbent, Daniel Day-Lewis, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Julie Walters and Emma Thompson in 2014.

A statement from the festival said Ejiofor had been selected to receive the honour "in recognition of his exceptional service to the film industry, not just here in the UK but internationally as an ambassador for British film".

Jared Harris, son of Richard Harris, said: "I am so happy this award is going to Chiwetel. Although the recipients of this award have all been embraced by the establishment, they all came from outside it, fought their way in on the strength of their talent, claimed their place and changed the status quo. A journey which describes Chiwetel's career perfectly.

"His talent is immense, it has brought him deserved worldwide recognition, and he is in his prime. I hope this award inspires British filmmakers to take advantage of him and build films around his talent."

Ejiofor's breakthrough role came in 1997 with the release of Steven Spielberg's Amistad, in which he was cast opposite Morgan Freeman and Anthony Hopkins.

In 2002, he was nominated for the BIFA for Most Promising Newcomer and for Best Actor, which he won, for his performance in Stephen Frears' thriller Dirty Pretty Things.

Ejiofor's transatlantic career continued with roles in Richard Curtis' Love Actually, Woody Allen's Melinda and Melinda and Julian Jarrold's Kinky Boots. …

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