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The BFI is pleased to announce that British screenwriter and producer Peter Morgan CBE will be awarded the BFI’s highest honour, the BFI Fellowship, at the annual BFI Chairman’s Dinner, hosted by BFI Chair Josh Berger, on 21 February 2017, at Claridges, London.
With over 30 awards to his name, Peter is one of today’s most celebrated and influential screenwriters. His illustrious writing career includes some of the most successful films and television series of recent years, including Frost/Nixon (2008), The Queen (2006), The Last King of Scotland (2007), Rush (2013) and, most recently, the Netflix original smash hit, The Crown (2016). Netflix has credited much of its audience growth at the end of last year to The Crown, created and written by Peter, and winner of best TV drama at this year’s Golden Globes. The Crown’s executive producer and director Stephen Daldry will be on stage with cast members at the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival, BFI Southbank, on 8 April.
Josh Berger, BFI Chair said:
“I am absolutely thrilled to be recognising Peter Morgan’s rare talent and enormous contribution to both the big and small screen with a BFI Fellowship. He is rightly one of our most fêted and accomplished screenwriters, with a career spanning almost 30 years and delighting generations of audiences with his work. Peter has an uncanny knack for getting under the skin of prominent figures to portray an eclectic range of real life personalities, retelling the most iconic moments in our recent history and the individuals at the heart of them, to make engaging, elegant and accessible stories.”
Peter Morgan said:
“I couldn’t be more surprised, thrilled or proud to receive this honour – and look forward to being suitably teased and abused on the night.”
The British establishment – its leadership and politics, have provided much inspiration for a number of Peter’s works. Helen Mirren played Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen, which Peter later adapted for the theatre, producing The Audience (2013), where Helen continued her portrayal of the Queen. The Crown, which looks back at the earlier days of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, won the 2017 Golden Globe for best TV drama series, and a second series has been confirmed.
Tony Blair has also reoccurred as a figure throughout Peter’s film and television work, with Michael Sheen returning to portray Britain’s ex-prime minister in an award-winning trilogy of films: The Deal (2003), The Queen and The Special Relationship (2010). The Academy Award-nominated Frost/Nixon is another of Peter’s scripts to focus on recent political events. The film opened the BFI London Film Festival in 2008, as did Peter’s ensemble drama 360 in 2011.
Further characters that Peter has brought to life adeptly on the big screen are Ugandan President Idi Amin in the multi-award-winning The Last King of Scotland, footballing legend Brian Clough, who controversially coached Leeds United for just 44 days, in The Damned United (2009), and Formula One stars James Hunt and Niki Lauda, whose merciless rivalry was brought to life in Rush.
Peter will be joining the distinguished ranks of other BFI Fellows including Tim Burton, Clint Eastwood, Judi Dench, Martin Scorsese, Jeanne Moreau, Stephen Frears, Steve McQueen, Cate Blanchett, John Hurt, Maggie Smith and Hugh Grant. A number of BFI’s Fellows have writing credits to their name, but Graham Greene and Lynda La Plante are the only other recipients who are known principally as writers for television and film.
Josh Berger will host the BFI Chairman’s Dinner, held to thank the BFI’s charitable donors for their support of the organization throughout the year, for the first time as BFI Chair. Prior to his appointment, he was a BFI Governor since 2011 Josh is the President and Managing Director of Warner Bros. Entertainment UK, Ireland and Spain.