BFI Fellowships for David Cronenberg and Ralph Fiennes

Cronenberg will be the first Canadian to be honoured by the British Film Institute

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Director David Cronenberg and actor Ralph Fiennes are to be awarded British Film Institute Fellowships at the upcoming 55th London Film Festival, the BFI announced today. 

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Cronenberg, known for body shock films such as Videodrome and The Fly, and, more recently, violent dramas A History of Violence and Eastern Promises, will be the first Canadian citizen to receive the honour. 

“British cinema has been a potent inspiration for me and to be associated with this particular group of filmmakers is tremendously exhilarating,” said Cronenberg.

“This is a monumental, in fact overwhelming, honour, and my being the first Canadian to receive it makes it all the sweeter.”

Cronenberg’s latest feature A Dangerous Method is due to premiere at this year’s London Film Festival.    

Ralph Fiennes was nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar for his role as a concentration camp commandant in Schindler’s List and is known to a younger generation as Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter films.

Fiennes said he was “extremely honoured and delighted” to be given the BFI Fellowship.

The honours will be presented at the BFI London Film Festival’s 2011 awards ceremony on 26 October. 

Fiennes’ directorial debut Coriolanus will also have a gala screening at the festival. He takes the title role in this updated version of the Shakespeare play, with Gerard Butler, Vanessa Redgrave and James Nesbitt also starring.

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Previous recipients of the BFI Fellowship include Lord Attenborough, Bernardo Bertolucci, Sir Michael Caine, Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, Dame Maggie Smith and, earlier this year, Dame Judi Dench.