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LONDON – The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is to dish out an award for outstanding British contribution to cinema to the Harry Potter movie franchise.
Author J.K. Rowling and producer David Heyman will receive the honor on behalf of the long-running franchise during this year’s Orange British Academy Film Awards on Feb. 13.
Awarded annually, the nod for outstanding British contribution to cinema was introduced in 1978, presented in honor of Michael Balcon.
Previous recipients include Mike Leigh, Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jarman, Working Title, Lewis Gilbert, Channel Four Films and Pinewood & Shepperton Studios.
The Potter franchise kicked off in 2001 with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and has been bankrolled by Warner Bros. ever since.
The franchise hasn’t just been about introducing fresh talent to a global audience but also drawn global attention to the British craft and technical industries.
The 10-year plus association with Warner Bros. also saw the studio buy the franchise’s home Leavesden Studios.
And then there are the numbers. The first six films in the series have grossed over $5.4 billion worldwide.
BAFTA film committee chair Finola Dwyer said: “As this great British film success story draws to a close with this year’s eagerly anticipated final installment, it’s fitting that BAFTA honors the Harry Potter films and their contribution to the British film industry.”
Heyman noted he was accepting the honor “on behalf of the over 2,000 people who worked in front of and behind the camera on each of the Harry Potter films,” and thanked them for bringing the books to the screen. “And thank you to Jo Rowling for entrusting us to bring her magnificent books to the screen.”
Warner Bros. president and COO Alan Horn said: “It’s been gratifying to be part of this great franchise, and we join BAFTA in applauding our extraordinary filmmakers, our wonderful cast, and of course JK Rowling, who started it all with her beloved literary works.”
The Orange BAFAs will be hosted by Jonathan Ross and will be broadcast exclusively on BBC One.
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