Sydney Samuelson to Be Honored by British Cinema and Television Veterans

British cinema's legendary name adds honor to feted career.

LONDON – The British Cinema and Television Veterans is to pay tribute to former British film commissioner Sydney Samuelson at a special event due to take place at a central London location in September this year.

Samuelson was the very first British Film Commissioner appointed in 1991, charged with promoting the U.K. as a destination for international film productions and encouraging the U.K. government to introduce a tax incentive for overseas productions.

He first entered the business aged 14 in the projection box of the Luxor Cinema in West Sussex, thanks to his father G.B Samuelson who was a pioneer producer of silent films before training as a film editor with Gaumont British Newsreel in London and then a cameraman.

In 1954 with the purchase of a clockwork film camera, he formed Samuelson Film Service, later joined by his brothers. The company became the leading film and television equipment supplier in the U.K. and Europe working on all of David Lean’s films.

Samuelson was also instrumental in the development of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and was chairman from 1973-1976.

He is the recipient of the British Academy’s Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Film and a BAFTA fellowship.

The tribute event is being supported by 12 industry organizations including BAFTA, British Film Commission, the British Film Institute and The British Society of Cinematographers.