‘Oppenheimer’ Director Christopher Nolan Accorded BFI Fellowship

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“Oppenheimer” director Christopher Nolan is being accorded a BFI Fellowship, the highest honor bestowed by the British Film Institute.

“The fellowship recognizes Nolan’s extraordinary achievements and enormous contribution to cinema as one of the world’s most successful and influential film directors, constantly pushing the limits of what large-scale filmmaking can be whilst retaining a reverence for the history of the medium and the primacy of cinema-going,” the BFI said in a statement.

The fellowship will be presented to Nolan at the BFI chair’s dinner in London on Feb. 14, 2024, hosted by BFI Chair Tim Richards. This will be followed on Feb. 15, 2024, by an In Conversation event at BFI Southbank and an introduction to “Tenet” at BFI Imax. During his visit, Nolan will also visit the BFI National Archive’s Conservation Centre.

Nolan’s films, which also include “Memento,” “Batman Begins,” “Inception” and “Dunkirk,” have won 11 Oscars and grossed some $6.1 million globally. “Oppenheimer” opened in July and grossed some $950 million, including £58.7 million ($74.6 million) at the U.K. and Ireland box office, Nolan’s highest earner in the territory. The film had a second run in November at Imax cinemas in the U.S., making it the fourth highest grossing worldwide release in the format of all time. “Oppenheimer” will be showing at BFI Imax again in January 2024.

Nolan said, “I am thrilled and honored to be accepting a BFI Fellowship from an organization so dedicated to preserving both cinema’s history as well as its future.”

Richards added: “I’m delighted to be honouring and recognizing Christopher Nolan with a BFI Fellowship. Christopher Nolan is one of the greatest filmmakers of the 21st century, creating hugely popular movies that have grossed over $6 billion worldwide. His movies are all made for the big screen to challenge and entertain audiences around the world. Christopher’s commitment and support of the cinema industry is legendary. He has also been at the forefront of preserving celluloid through his involvement with The Film Foundation and his own support via the Morf Foundation for the BFI’s photochemical work. All done to ensure that 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.”

Nolan received the CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), one of the U.K.’s highest honors, in 2019. He has had five Oscar nominations, five BAFTA nominations and six Golden Globe nominations. This year he won the NATO Spirit of the Industry award and the Sundance Institute’s first ever Trailblazer Award.

BFI Fellows include David Lean, Bette Davis, Akira Kurosawa, Ousmane Sembène, Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, Orson Welles, Thelma Schoonmaker, Derek Jarman, Martin Scorsese, Satyajit Ray, Yasujirō Ozu and, most recently, Tilda Swinton, Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson and Spike Lee.

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