Stephen Frears to be Awarded BFI Fellowship at London Film Festival

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Oscar-nominated 'Philomena' director to be given British Film Institute's highest gong on Oct. 18

Oscar-nominated U.K. director Stephen Frears will receive the British Film Institute’s top award at this year’s BFI London Film Festival, which kicks off Oct. 8.

The filmmaker behind Philomena, The Queen, Dangerous Liaisons and numerous other highly-acclaimed titles will be awarded the BFI Fellowship at a special ceremony on Oct. 18 ahead of the close of the festival.

"Throughout his extraordinary career, Stephen has produced a body of work which never fails to surprise — from sweeping costume drama to powerful social realism, his films strike a perfect balance between drama, humor and pathos helping to make them a hit with audience and critics alike," said BFI chairman Greg Dyke in a statement. "He is one of the U.K.’s most important directors and we are delighted to honor him."

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Speaking about the announcement, Frears said: “I’ve spent much of my life in the cinema and quite a lot of it at BFI Southbank. I’m thrilled by this Fellowship.”

Previous recipients of the BFI Fellowship, which was initiated in 1983, include Ridley Scott, Judi Dench, Harvey Weinstein and Mike Leigh.