Denmark's Lone Scherfig to Become First Woman to Give BAFTA's David Lean Lecture

The director of 'Italian for Beginners' and 'An Education' will deliver the film lecture in London in December

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) said Wednesday that Danish director Lone Scherfig will deliver the David Lean Lecture, a high-profile film lecture, in December. 

She will be the first woman to deliver it. Scherfig's lecture is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 15, at BAFTA’s headquarters in Central London.

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The David Lean Lecture "aims to provide an insight into the experiences and outstanding creative achievements of some of the world’s most compelling filmmakers," according to the organization. The lecture carries on the legacy of director David Lean, one of the founders of the British Film Academy as it was then known in 1947.

Previous speakers include Paul Greengrass, Robert Altman, John Boorman, Oliver Stone, David Lynch and Pedro Almodovar.

"Lone Scherfig is one of the original Danish directors – with Lars Von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg – to be part of the Dogme 95 movement," said Nik Powell, chair of the BAFTA Film Committee. "The multi-award-winning Dogme 95 film Italian for Beginners showed her extraordinary ability to portray a deep humanity in her stories with lightness and humor, which she has continued to show in all her subsequent films, from Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself to the BAFTA-nominated An Education. Scherfig is a unique talent as well as being a torchbearer for women directors everywhere; we are thrilled to welcome her to BAFTA to share her unique perspective.”

Scherfig began her career directing commercials and TV dramas in her native Denmark. Her first feature as director was The Birthday Trip, which screened at the 1991 Berlin International Film Festival. Italian for Beginners in 2001 won the Berlin International Film Festival's Silver Bear Jury Prize for best director.

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An Education earned BAFTA nominations in the best director and outstanding British film categories and a BAFTA win for lead actress Carey Mulligan, as well as Oscar nominations in the best picture, actress and writing categories.

Her most recent feature film, The Riot Club, premiered at this year’s Toronto Film Festival. Scherfig is currently directing Astronaut Wives Club, a 10-episode drama series for ABC Studios, which tells the story of the women behind some of the biggest events in American history.

Twitter: @georgszalai