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Dench will receive the lifetime achievement honor in Zurich on Oct. 3. The British actress will also present her latest drama, Red Joan.
In the feature, from director Trevor Nunn, Dench plays a Russian spy who spent decades undercover in England. The plot is inspired by the true story of British civil servant Melita Norwood, who spent 40 years as an undercover KGB agent. Sophie Cookson, who plays the younger version of Dench’s character, will also present Red Joan in Zurich.
One of Britain’s most acclaimed actresses, onstage and onscreen, Dench won an best supporting actress Oscar for her role as Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love and has been Oscar nominated five more times for performances in Chocolat, Iris, Mrs. Henderson Presents, Notes on a Scandal and Philomena. The 83-year-old actress is perhaps best known for her recurring role as M in seven James Bond films, from Goldeneye (1995) to Skyfall (2012).
Dench has been a fixture on the British stage since her performance as Ophelia in Hamlet at London’s Old Vic Theatre nearly 60 years ago. She has won a record eight Olivier Awards, Britain’s highest theatrical honor.
“Judi is a true icon. She has enjoyed an extraordinary acting career across film, television and on stage,” said Zurich Film Festival co-founders Nadja Schildknecht and Karl Spoerri. “We are thrilled to welcome her to Zurich and to screen her latest film, Red Joan.”
Dench recently wrapped production on Disney’s Artemis Fowl, directed by Kenneth Branagh, and will be seen in Andy Goddard’s upcoming period drama Six Minutes to Midnight alongside Jim Broadbent, Eddie Izzard and Carla Juri.
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