Cillian Murphy Presents BFI Fellowship to “True Legend” Christopher Nolan

Cillian Murphy Presents BFI Fellowship to “True Legend” Christopher Nolan

Cillian Murphy presented Oppenheimer director Christopher Nolan with the BFI Fellowship, the British Film Institute’s highest honor, on Wednesday evening at a London dinner event hosted by BFI chair Tim Richards.

“The BFI Fellowship recognizes Nolan’s extraordinary achievements and enormous contribution to cinema as one of the world’s most innovative and influential film directors,” the organization said.

Nolan received the honor at the annual BFI Chair’s Dinner at the Rosewood Hotel in central London. Murphy, who has worked with Nolan on the likes of the Dark Knight trilogy, InceptionDunkirk, and Oppenheimer, was in attendance along with such film industry guests as NBCUniversal Studio Group chair and chief content officer Donna Langley, Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thomas, Michael Caine, Josh Hartnett, Hans Zimmer, Hoyte van Hoytema, Barbara Broccoli, Tom Hiddleston, Michelle Dockery, Gurinder Chadha, Misan Harriman, Molly Manning Walker, BFI CEO Ben Roberts, as well as U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer. 

Past BFI Fellows include the likes of Bette Davis, Akira Kurosawa, Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, Orson Welles, Thelma Schoonmaker, Martin Scorsese, Tilda Swinton, Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson and Spike Lee.   

“I was asked if in all of those years fighting to shoot on film, did you ever feel alone doing that? I was able to say I did not because my producer Emma Thomas always saw things the same way I did in terms of the importance of the medium,” Nolan said in receiving the honor. “So many people have helped me, so many people have been there for me, in so many different ways. I’m very moved to receive this, very moved by the presentation. This means the world to me.”

In presenting the BFI Fellowship to Nolan, Murphy said: “For the last 25 years Christopher Nolan has been making films that are unique, boundary-pushing, singular, provocative, ambitious and unforgettable. He is a one-in-a-million, a true legend, one of the greatest directors in the world. It is a privilege of mine to know him, and to have worked with him so closely over the last 20 years. I have the utmost respect for him as an artist and a human being.”

Richards called Nolan “one of the greatest filmmakers of the 21st century,” saying he has been “creating films that captivate audiences all over the world, generate billions at the box office and garner critical acclaim and awards.” He added: “Christopher’s passion as a filmmaker is matched by his commitment to preserving celluloid through his involvement with The Film Foundation and his own support via the Morf Foundation for the BFI’s photochemical work. In doing so, current and future audiences will be able to continue to enjoy and learn from our incredibly rich history of cinema for many years to come.” 

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