Martin Scorsese To Be Honored with BAFTA Fellowship

We are very close to award season and this year all the ceremonies will be celebrating the best of what 2011 had to offer. As is always the case, certain award shows will honor something not just from the past year but call attention to a significant body of work. The artist/filmmaker that will be honored at this year’s Orange BAFTA awards is legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese. With this Academy Fellowship honor, he will join the join a select number of outstanding film personalities and can be rightfully recognized as one of the most elite in the business. Nothing less than the best for one of film’s pioneering visionaries right?

For those of you interested (and who can actually watch the BAFTAs) the following comes from the official press release:

On Sunday 12 February, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts will present Martin Scorsese with the Academy Fellowship at the Orange British Academy Film Awards ceremony, at London’s Royal Opera House.

Awarded annually by BAFTA, the Fellowship is the highest accolade bestowed upon an individual in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film. Previously honoured Fellows include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Sean Connery, Elizabeth Taylor, Stanley Kubrick, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Judi Dench and Vanessa Redgrave. Christopher Lee received the Fellowship at the Film Awards last February.

Tim Corrie, Chairman of BAFTA, said: “Martin Scorsese is a legend in his lifetime; a true inspiration to all young directors the world over. We are delighted to honour his contribution to cinema history and look forward to paying tribute to him in London on 12 February.”

Martin Scorsese added: “It is a great honour to be recognized by the British Academy and to join the ranks of such an esteemed group of industry colleagues and friends.”

With a celebrated career now spanning six decades, Martin Scorsese is one of the most influential filmmakers in cinema history. The acclaimed director, producer and screenwriter has been nominated by BAFTA no fewer than nine times, garnering three wins in 1991 for Goodfellas. A cinematic master, his works also include Taxi DriverRaging BullCasinoGangs of New YorkThe Aviator and The Departed. He has continued to delight critics and audiences alike with his most recent work, Hugo, a film that not only marks the director’s first foray into 3D but is also his first adventure film for all the family. Scorsese has also made a number of ground-breaking documentaries including celebrated music films No Direction Home: Bob DylanShine a Light and George Harrison: Living in the Material World.

Demonstrating his passion for film preservation, Scorsese is the founder and chair of two non-profit organizations dedicated to the preservation and protection of motion picture history: The Film Foundation and the World Cinema Foundation.

In December 2010, Scorsese was the subject of a ‘BAFTA A Life in Pictures’ event, where he shared personal insights into his career and his craft and gave invaluable advice to newcomers to the industry. If you haven’t seen them These videos are now available to view on  The nominations for the Orange British Academy Film Awards will be announced on Tuesday 17 January. The ceremony, broadcast by the BBC in the UK, will be held on 12 February and hosted by Stephen Fry.

A lot can be said for Scorsese not only for his films alone but the statements they made and his contributions to the film world. Marty’s career has been very dynamic and his work, while most know him for rough and dark films Taxi Driver and Goodfellas, includes everything from comedy to period piece to documentary to remake and more. You name it, he’s probably done it. And now with the critical and box office success of Hugo you can add a “kids movie” feather to his accomplished hat.

So I must say that while I’m not the biggest Scorsese fan it’s hard to deny the guy’s talent and what he means to the film world, and to an extent, our culture. He’s a pioneer and one who is not only a legend but an icon. They they just don’t make him like that any more and we can’t wait to see what else he’s got up his sleeve.