The BFI is proud to announce that Bryan Forbes has accepted a prestigious BFI Fellowship Award. Announced in a special ceremony last night by BFI Chair Greg Dyke at BFI Southbank, the award is in recognition of Bryan Forbes’ outstanding contribution to film as an actor, director, producer and writer. The award joins Forbes’ impressive accolades which include a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire), Academy Award, two BAFTA awards, two Writers Guild Awards, a Critics Circle Award, an Edgar Allen Poe Award, wins at both the Berlin and San Sebastien International Film Festivals and numerous nominations, including an Academy Awards nomination for The Angry Silence in 1960.
Brian Forbes said ‘I would like to say to Greg Dyke and colleagues what a great honour the BFI does to me, which I appreciate more than I can say. When you’re 85 as I am, it’s like as Betty Davies once said to me, old age ain’t for sissies!’
Greg Dyke said ‘The multi talented Brian Forbes has made an outstanding contribution to British film for over 60 years, both on and off screen. We are delighted and honoured that he has accepted a BFI Fellowship – the highest accolade the BFI can bestow.’
The BFI Fellowship award is in the gift of the Board of Governors, and it is intended to recognise “outstanding achievement in film and television”, given to those who have helped shape film and television culture in the UK. Brian joins an eminent list of BFI Fellows that include Peggy Ashcroft, Dirk Bogarde, Richard Attenborough, Judi Dench, Alec Guinness, Maggie Smith, Bernardo Bertolucci, Laurence Olivier, Orson Welles, Jack Cardiff, Jeanne Moreau and Mike Leigh.
Bryan Forbes’ career in film has spanned over 60 years. He made his screen debut in 1948 and went on to have supporting roles in films including An Inspector Calls (1954) and The Colditz Story (1955). Forbes was then lured behind the camera, first as a screenwriter winning critical acclaim for both his screenplay for Basil Dearden’s The League of Gentlemen and his most controversial screenplay Guy Green’s The Angry Silence, starring Richard Attenborough. Forbes made his directorial debut with Whistle Down The Wind (1961) and went on to make films including King Rat (1965), The Stepford Wives (1974) and International Velvet (1978). He is married to actress Nanette Newman and they have two children, TV presenter Emma Forbes and Sarah Standing. Forbes has also written several novels and two volumes of his autobiography. He is now president of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain.
About the BFI Fellowship
The Fellowship of the British Film Institute was created in 1983 to coincide with the BFI’s 50th anniversary. On that occasion the British film industry gathered in the Guildhall for a televised event at which the first group of Fellows were bestowed – Marcel Carné, David Lean, Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, Satyajit Ray and Orson Welles.
Since its creation, the BFI Fellowship has been awarded to key figures in British cinema including Peggy Ashcroft, Dirk Bogarde, Alec Guinness, Maggie Smith, Laurence Olivier, Vanessa Redgrave and Mike Leigh. Also recognised have been such film industry luminaries as Jack Cardiff, Sydney Samuelson and Jeremy Thomas, and some of the giants of world cinema, including Michelangelo Antonioni, Abbas Kiarostami, Akira Kurosawa, Jeanne Moreau, Elem Klimov and Bernardo Bertolucci.
The BFI Fellowship also celebrates achievement in the world of television with such names as Alan Yentob, Jeremy Isaacs, David Rose, Michael Parkinson, Lynda La Plante, Lord Bernstein and Verity Lambert all receiving the award.
Since 1983 a total of sixty seven Fellowships have been awarded. A full list is attached.