In partnership with the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), New York, the Hamptons International Film Festival will award Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner—co-chairs of the British production company Working Title Films—with the Golden Starfish Award for Lifetime Achievement, as part of the Festival’s ‘Focus on UK Film.’
On October 12, BAFTA and Academy Award® winner Renée Zellweger will introduce the honorees at a special tribute ceremony at HIFF 2013. Joining her in a toast to the powerhouse producers will be a pair of British directors who have worked with Working Title Films: Richard Curtis (About Time, Love, Actually), and Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, World’s End). Working Title also produced Bridget Jones’s Diary and its sequel, both of which starred Zellweger as the plucky British ‘singleton.’ After introductions, the three will join Bevan and Fellner in conversation for an insider’s view of the production powerhouse, moderated by Rajendra Roy, the Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film at the Museum of Modern Art.
“We are incredibly grateful to be receiving this recognition from the Hamptons International Film Festival,” said Working Title Co-Chairs Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner. “This Festival has always championed films and filmmakers that we admire, so to be included in such an illustrious group is indeed an honor.”
Working Title Films has produced some of the most well known films from the UK in recent decades, including Les Misérables, Atonement, Four Weddings And A Funeral, Elizabeth, and Billy Elliot, to name just a few.
“The Hamptons International Film Festival is pleased to recognize Working Title Films and its incredible body of work,” said Anne Chaisson, Executive Director of The Hamptons International Film Festival. “Honoring outstanding international cinema is the central point of the Festival’s mission, and Working Title has been a game changer on the international stage. It is a great privilege to partner with BAFTA New York to acknowledge Working Title and its standout achievements.”
The Working Title tribute will be the focal point of HIFF and BAFTA New York’s second ‘Focus on UK Film’ series, which highlights new UK productions featuring notable British talent both behind and in front of the camera. ‘Focus on UK Film’ will host a screening of Working Title Films’s latest production, About Time, directed by Richard Curtis and starring Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, and Bill Nighy.
A sampling of the other screenings included in the 2013 edition of ‘Focus on UK Film’ is as follows:
- the BBC America biopic Burton and Taylor, directed by Richard Laxton and starring Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West
- The Invisible Woman, directed by Ralph Fiennes, starring Fiennes, Felicity Jones and Kristin Scott Thomas
“BAFTA New York and HIFF share similar goals in our commitment to cinema as an art form and to the creative artists behind it,” said Charles Tremayne, Chairman of BAFTA New York. “It is without dispute that Working Title is one of the leading production companies in the world. They have been instrumental in developing a new wave of British directors, writers, and actors that are not only household names, but their creative genius has also impacted the way the world and the industry views films. The ‘Focus on UK Film’ initiative is in keeping with BAFTA New York’s ongoing mission, which is to support British film production and expand awareness of UK talent in the US.”
Showcasing the very best of the UK across the globe—from business to sport to culture—the GREAT campaign is an international effort to maximize the tourism and business opportunities from the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. “The UK has always been a fantastic breeding-ground for talent on both sides of the camera,” said Danny Lopez, British Consul General for New York. “The government’s tax credits demonstrate our continuing support for the film industry, and make the UK an ideal place for home-grown companies, like Working Title, and international companies to grow their business and take advantage of our highly skilled workforce.”
The Tribute to Working Title Films is produced by Luke Parker Bowles and Harlene Freezer. Both serve on the Hamptons International Film Festival’s Advisory Board and are Board Members of BAFTA New York.