Chiwetel Ejiofor will be honored with the Richard Harris award at this year’s Moet British Independent Film Awards, it was announced today.
The actor is to receive the prize, created in 2002 when Harris died, in recognition of his “exceptional service” to the film industry, both in the UK and abroad.
Harris’ son, Jared 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 joins past winners, including last year’s honoree, Emma Thompson, and previous winners, John Hurt, Bob Hoskins, Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters.
Ejiofor’s film career began in 1996 when he appeared in Stephen Spielberg’s “Amistad” with Anthony Hopkins and Morgan Freeman.
He won a BAFTA for his portrayal of Solomon Northup in “12 Years A Slave” 2 years ago, and was also nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe.
This year he was seen in “The Martian,” and currently stars in “Secret In Their Eyes” with Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman, which opened over the weekend.
At the moment, the actor is filming Marvel’s Doctor Strange in Nepal with Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton.
The BIFA awards will take place on December 6.