Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Kingsley to be honored at BAFTA/LA Britannia Awards

A couple of weeks ago, we reported that George Clooney will receive the Stanley Kubrick Award for Excellence in Film at the Britannia Awards, an annual event held by BAFTA’s Los Angeles division to celebrate unity between the British and US film industries. Today, two further honorees were confirmed for the November 9 ceremony: Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Kingsley.

Bigelow will receive the John Schlesinger Award for Excellence in Directing. An honor that was previously a wholly non-American affair — with recipients including Peter Weir, Anthony Minghella, Stephen Frears, Danny Boyle and Christopher Nolan — until Quentin Tarantino was awarded it last year.

Bigelow is the first female director to receive the award since it was inaugurated in 2003 — which is apt, since across the pond, she was also the first woman to win BAFTA’s Best Director prize, when “The Hurt Locker” cleaned up at the 2009 awards. She was nominated in the same category earlier this year for “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Veteran British actor Kingsley, of course, has a longer BAFTA history — 30 years ago, he won both Best Actor and Best Newcomer for “Gandhi,” and has since received one further film nomination for “Schindler’s List.” Interestingly, none of the last three roles that garnered him Oscar nods (“House of Sand and Fog,” “Sexy Beast” and “Bugsy”) caught BAFTA’s eye.

Perhaps Los Angeles is simply a kinder place to him, since BAFTA/LA are awarding him the Albert R. Broccoli Award for Worldwide Contribution to Filmed Entertainment — an honor that has previously been presented to John Lasseter, Kirk Douglas and Tony and Ridley Scott.  

NAFTA/LA chairman Gary Dartnall states: “Sir Ben is a true icon of our industry, with a proven ability to captivate filmgoers around the world with his daring and powerful performances, and Kathryn is a tremendously talented and versatile director whose work consistently challenges and entertains, no matter the genre or subject matter. As previous Academy Award and BAFTA winning artists, BAFTA Los Angeles is proud that Kathryn and Sir Ben will join us for what is certain to be a memorable evening.”

The Britannia Awards will be presented at a gala dinner on November 9, with BBC America televising the event the next day.