Chiwetel Ejiofor to get Richard Harris Award at the BIFAs
by Naman Ramachandran
- Actor currently shooting Doctor Strange with Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton
Chiwetel Ejiofor will be honoured with the Richard Harris Award at the British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs) ceremony on December 6. The Award was introduced in 2002 in honour of the actor Richard Harris and recognises outstanding contribution to British film by an actor. Previous winners include John Hurt, David Thewlis, Bob Hoskins, Jim Broadbent, Daniel Day-Lewis, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Julie Walters and Emma Thompson in 2014. Ejiofor gets the award in recognition of his service to the film industry, in the UK and internationally as an ambassador for British film.
Jared Harris, son of Richard Harris, said, “Although the recipients of this award have all been embraced by the establishment, they all came from outside it, fought their way in on the strength of their talent, claimed their place and changed the status quo – a journey which describes Chiwetel’s career perfectly. His talent is immense, it has brought him deserved worldwide recognition, and he is in his prime. I hope this award inspires British filmmakers to take advantage of him and build films around his talent.”
In 1996, Steven Spielberg cast Ejiofor in Amistad. In 2002, he was BIFA nominated for Most Promising Newcomer and for Best Actor, which he won, for his performance in Stephen Frears’ Dirty Pretty Things. His performance in Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years a Slave [+see also:
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Ejiofor is currently shooting Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange with fellow British actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton.