Curzon wins BAFTA for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has announced today that Curzon will receive the award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema at the EE British Academy Film Awards on Sunday 12 February at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

The Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award is presented annually in honour of Michael Balcon, the British film producer known for his work with Ealing Studios. Previous recipients include Mike Leigh, Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jarman, Mary Selway, Ridley and Tony Scott, Working Title Films, Lewis Gilbert, the Harry Potter series of films, John Hurt, Peter Greenaway, Tessa Ross and BBC Films. Angels Costumes received the award last year.

Dame Pippa Harris, Chair of BAFTA’s Film Committee, said: “I am thrilled that BAFTA is honouring Curzon with the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award. For over 80 years, Curzon has provided the British public with unforgettable cinema experiences, while championing independent, art house and foreign language film making. I would like to thank everyone at Curzon for their extraordinary contribution to our industry, and for their unwavering commitment to bringing the very best in film to audiences across the UK.”

Philip Knatchbull, CEO of Curzon, said: “I’m delighted that Curzon's contribution to film has been recognised by BAFTA. Curzon has a long and proud history in the British film industry and many talented and passionate people have contributed to its success story over the years. We think of ourselves as champions of bold and visionary filmmaking from around the world supported by our growing network of cinemas and home cinema digital platforms.”

Curzon is an iconic UK cinema brand with a history stretching back to 1934 with the opening of their first cinema Curzon Mayfair. More than 80 years on, this steadfast independent includes a nationwide network of fifteen cinemas, distribution label Curzon Artificial Eye and video-on-demand platform Curzon Home Cinema.

Curzon cinemas are some of the country's most recognisable and cherished venues. Its central London venue, Curzon Soho, exists at the heart of the UK film industry, and has, according to Time Out, been known to make arthouse film fans “go weak at the knees”. Curzon Bloomsbury won a RIBA award in 2016 for its refurbishment inspired by the films of Andrei Tarkovsky. Newer venues such as Curzon Canterbury, Curzon Sheffield and Curzon Aldgate - opening this month - are part of an ongoing expansion which will see further sites open in Oxford, Hoxton and Colchester.

The distribution label Curzon Artificial Eye, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, champions the very best of new and classic cinema in all its diversity from Britain, Europe and around the world. Its catalogue includes works by acclaimed filmmakers such as Andrei Tarkovsky, Satyajit Ray, Claire Denis, Charlie Chaplin, Lynne Ramsay, Michael Haneke and Mia Hansen-Løve among many others.

Curzon Artificial Eye has distributed numerous BAFTA-winning films including Wild Tales (2016), Citizenfour (2015), Still Alice (2015), Ida (2015), The Great Beauty (2014), Amour (2013), Fish Tank (2010), The Beat That My Heart Skipped (2006), L’Appartement (1998), Farewell My Concubine (1994), Life And Nothing But (1990), Babette’s Feast (1989), The Sacrifice (1988), Danton (1984), and Christ Stopped At Eboli (1982). This year, Curzon Artificial Eye films have received five nominations at the EE British Academy Film Awards: Notes on Blindness for Outstanding British Film, Outstanding Debut and Documentary; Son of Saul for Film Not in the English Language; and Mustang for Film Not in the English Language. Additionally, Laia Costa, star of Victoria, is nominated for the EE Rising Star Award.

Since 2010, Curzon has been at the forefront of expanding the horizons of film distribution with the launch of video on demand platform Curzon Home Cinema. Andrew Haigh’s BAFTA-nominated film 45 Years (2015) was the first film to gross over £1m at the box office while being simultaneously released online. This year, Curzon Home Cinema began hosting live events coverage including the UK premiere of Tales of Tales and the 2016 European Film Awards.

The EE British Academy Film Awards will take place on Sunday 12 February at the Royal Albert Hall, London. The ceremony will be hosted by Stephen Fry and will be broadcast exclusively on BBC One and BBC One HD. The ceremony is also broadcast in all major territories around the world. On the night, bafta.org will feature red carpet highlights, photography and winners interviews, as well as dedicated coverage on its social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.