The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced that it will honor Sir Sidney Poitier with the Fellowship at the EE British Academy Film Awards on Sunday February 14.
Awarded annually, the Fellowship is the highest accolade bestowed by BAFTA upon an individual in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, television or games.
Fellows previously honored for their work in film include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Sean Connery, Elizabeth Taylor, Stanley Kubrick, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Judi Dench, Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Lee, Martin Scorsese, Alan Parker and Helen Mirren.
Mike Leigh received the Fellowship at last year’s Film Awards.
Sidney Poitier said: “I am extremely honored to have been chosen to receive the Fellowship and my deep appreciation to the British Academy for the recognition.”
Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive of BAFTA, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that Sidney Poitier is to become a Fellow of BAFTA. Sidney is a luminary of film whose outstanding talent in front of the camera, and important work in other fields, has made him one of the most important figures of his generation. His determination to pursue his dreams is an inspirational story for young people starting out in the industry today. By recognizing Sidney with the Fellowship at the Film Awards on Sunday 14 February, BAFTA will be honouring one of cinema’s true greats.”
Sir Sidney Poitier’s award-winning career features six BAFTA nominations, including one BAFTA win, and a British Academy Britannia Award for Lifetime Contribution to International Film.
He was BAFTA-nominated for his performances in “Edge of the City,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Lilies of the Field” (for which he was the first African American to win the Oscar for Best Actor in 1964), “A Patch of Blue,” “In the Heat of the Night” and “The Defiant Ones,” for which he won a BAFTA and Oscar in 1959.
The EE British Academy Film Awards take place on Sunday February 14 at the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden. Stephen Fry will be returning to host this year’s ceremony, which will be broadcast exclusively on BBC One in the UK and in all major territories around the world. On the night, www.bafta.org will feature red carpet highlights, photography and winners interviews, as well as dedicated coverage on its social networks including Facebook (/BAFTA), Twitter (@BAFTA / #EEBAFTAs), Tumblr and Instagram.