Legendary film director Mel Brooks will be honoured by the British Academy of Film & Television Arts this Sunday – 12th February 2017 – with the prestigious BAFTA Fellowship award.
The award, which acts as a lifetime achievement award and honours the entire career of an artist, was introduced in 1971 and first awarded to Alfred Hitchcock. Since then, the likes of David Lean, Charles Chaplin, Steven Spielberg, Federico Fellini, Stanley Kubrick, Judi Dench, Sidney Poltier and Mike Leigh have each received the award.
Brooks, whose career is perhaps best remembered for his directorial work on some of the most noteworthy comedies of the twentieth century including Blazing Saddles (1974), Spaceballs (1987) and Robin Hood: Men In Tights (1993), was described by BAFTA CEO Amanda Berry as the following:
“Mel Brooks is a truly unique and multi-talented filmmaker. We are absolutely thrilled to award him the fellowship, the highest honour of the evening, at this year’s British Academy Film Awards.”
The director responded to the news with a typically tongue-in-cheek statement:
“I am not overwhelmed, but I definitely am whelmed by this singular honour. To be included among such iconic talents is absolutely humbling. In choosing me for the 2017 Fellowship I think that BAFTA has made a strangely surprising but ultimately wise decision.”