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BFI Fellowship for Sir Christopher Lee

l-r: Clare Stewart (LFF director), Boris Johnson (Mayor of London), Sir Christopher Lee (BFI Fellowship honouree), Amanda Nevill (BFI Chief Executive)

The BFI has announced that the veteran actor Sir Christopher Lee will be awarded a Fellowship of the British Film Institute at the awards ceremony towards the end of this year’s London Film Festival.

The BFI’s Chief Executive Amanda Nevill said its Fellowship was awarded to those at the pinnacle of their profession. “It is a truly illustrious moment to be honouring Sir Christopher Lee for his enormous and unique contribution to film during a Festival that is committed to excellence,” she added.

“It’s a great privilege to be included amongst such a distinguished group of predecessors who have received this award from the BFI,” the 91 year old actor enthused.

Knighted in 2009 for his services to drama and charity, Sir Christopher has more than 250 acting credits during a career that has stretched across eight decades. He’s best known by many for starring in horror films, including bringing Frankenstein’s monster to life in the mid-1950s and playing Dracula for Hammer Films. He also played Lord Summerisle in the cult classic The Wicker Man, the Bond-vilain Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun and more recently, featured as the wizard Saruman in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. he’s also worked with Tim Burton in Sleepy Hollow, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland and Corpse Bride.

An Education director Lone Scherfig is on the Best Film jury

Previous film-makers honoured with a Fellowship at the festival include Tim Burton and his partner Helena Bonham Carter last year and Ralph Fiennes and David Cronenberg in 2011.

The BFI has also announced who will be on the juries that will decide on the other awards to be handed out at the ceremony later this month.

The Official Competition for the best film of the festival will be decided by a jury including Lone Scherfig, who directed An Education, the actress Miranda Richardson and the veteran film critic Phillip French.

The jury to consider which film should win the Sutherland Award for the best debut feature will be will include the actors Emilia Fox, Jim Broadbent and Stephen Dillane.

The Best British Newcomer Award will be chosen by a jury including the actors Cillian Murphy, Saoirse Ronan, Gina McKee and Joanne Froggatt.

The BBC newsreader Sophie Raworth and Sky’s Commissioning Editor Chris Wilson will be among those considering which film should win the long-standing Grierson Award for the best documentary of the festival.

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