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BIFA To Honor Bonham Carter and Neeson

 

The Moet British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) have announced two of its honorees for its glamorous awards gala next month. Actress Helena Bonham Carter will receive the coveted Richard Harris Award and the Variety Award will be bestowed on actor Liam Neeson. The awards gala takes place at Old Billingsgate on Sunday, 5 December. The Richard Harris Award was introduced in 2003 in honor of veteran actor Richard Harris and recognises outstanding contribution to British film by an actor.  Previous winners have included John Hurt, David Thewlis, Bob Hoskins, Jim Broadbent and most recently Daniel Day-Lewis in 2009. 

This is  big year for Helena Bonham Carter. Not only has been nominated for a BIFA Best Supporting Actress for her role in THE KING'S SPEECH, but her acclaimed performance in that film is already being hailed as a shoe-in in the same category at the Oscars and Golden Globes.  The actress was born in London and has enjoyed a career on both the small and big screens.  For over a decade she has been a familiar face in British productions with varying budgets, including The Wings of the Dove, A Room with a View, Corpse Bride, Hamlet, Howards End, Sweeney Todd, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit, The Harry Potter Franchise, Enid, and The King’s Speech. She serves as the muse for iconoclastic film director Tim Burton (her life partner as well) and their collaboration has revitalized her career in such filims as Alice In Wonderland and Sweeney Todd.  She will be seen later in the year in the film adaptation of Nigel Slater’s bestselling novel Toast.

 

Liam Neeson will pick-up the Variety Award which recognises an actor, director, writer or producer who has helped to focus the international spotlight on the UK.  Neeson is in great company with the Variety Award which was received last year by Sir Michael Caine and previously by JK Rowling, Helen Mirren, Richard Curtis, Michael Sheen and Keira Knightley.

The Oscar-nominated actor was born in Northern Ireland and his film career is now entering its third decade. Among his most notable films are Husbands and Wives, Rob Roy, Michael Collins and Schindler’s List for which he received Best Actor nominations for the Academy Awards, Golden Globes and the BAFTA’s.  He has established himself as a versatile actor, lending his voice to the most famous fictional lion, Aslan for The Chronicles of Narnia trilogy, taking leading and cameo roles in box office hits such as Batman Begins, Taken, Love Actually, Gangs of New York, Clash of the Titans and The A-Team. In 2011, the prolific actor will star opposte Diane Kruger in Unknown and opposite Zach Galifianakis in The Hangover Part II (now that's diversity).

Proud patrons of The Moët British Independent Film Awards include Mike Figgis, Tom Hollander, Adrian Lester, Ken Loach, Ewan McGregor, Helen Mirren, Samantha Morton, Bill Nighy, Michael Sheen, Trudie Styler, Tilda Swinton, Meera Syal, David Thewlis, Ray Winstone and Michael Winterbottom.

Sandy Mandelberger, Awards Watch Editor

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