The Moët British Independent Film Awards announced this morning that Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years A Slave”) will be honored at this year’s ceremony with the Richard Harris Award. The award has been chosen based on Ejiofor’s major contribution to the UK film industry, in addition to the attention he has brought internationally as an ambassador for British film. The actor is currently shooting Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” with Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton.
The Richard Harris Award started in 2002 in honor of the iconic Irish actor who starred in “Camelot,” “This Sporting Life,” “King Arthur” and “Unforgiven.” Previous winners include John Hurt, David Thewlis, Bob Hoskins, Jim Broadbent, Daniel Day-Lewis, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Julie Walters and Emma Thompson.
Jared Harris, son of Richard Harris, said of the announcement, “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.”
Among the list of this year’s BIFA nominees, “The Lobster” leads the pack with seven, while “45 Years” and “Macbeth” have six nominations each. For the full list click here.
To watch this year’s ceremony on December 6, viewers can see a live stream by clicking here.