The BFI is awarding Fellowships to James Bond film producers, behind the scenes philanthropists and long-time supporters of the film industry Michael G. Wilson CBE and Barbara Broccoli CBE.
The Fellowships is the highest honour bestowed by the BFI. It recognise the pair’s extraordinary achievements and enormous contribution to cinema, with arguably the best loved and most enduring film franchise in the world – James Bond – celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.
Tim Richards, BFI Chair, said “With amazing insight and vision Michael and Barbara have not only re-invented Bond for today’s audiences, but No Time to Die arrived at exactly the right moment to welcome those audiences back to the big screen experience as never before. As equally, if not more, important is their commitment to our industry away from the spotlight, where they work tirelessly to open doors for others by playing a huge part in educating, supporting and inspiring the next generation of film makers.”
At the helm of EON Productions, Wilson and Broccoli have overseen the Bond franchise for nearly 30 years and together produced nine of the total 25 Bond films, the first of which was the hit Goldeneye (1995) and includes Skyfall (2012), which went on to win the BAFTA for Outstanding British Film.
Michael was screenwriter on five films in the 1980s (with Richard Maibaum) and producer of three Bonds with his stepfather and original Bond producer Albert R Broccoli.
With a commitment to the big screen experience, the release of the latest eagerly anticipated No Time To Die was stalled until safely though the height of the pandemic and released in October 2021. The film represented the return to cinemas for audiences around the world and was the highest grossing film of the year in the UK as well as third biggest release of all time in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
As the world has changed they have ensured the Bond franchise remains fresh and relevant, transforming the character and style of James Bond, adapting the story lines and scripts, and changing the representation of key supporting cast –whilst keeping the films as action-packed and entertaining as ever.
The BFI will be marking this anniversary year of the franchise with a special James Bond 60th celebration weekend of screenings and events in London at BFI Southbank and BFI IMAX on October 1st and 2nd 2022.
While Bond is the pair’s most famous brand, they have also produced and executive produced an impressive range of films outside the franchise including Tom Fisher’s Radiator (2014), Corinna McFarlane’s The Silent Storm (2014), Paul McGuigan’s Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool 2017), Nancy (2018) from debut filmmaker Christina Choe and Reed Morano’s The Rhythm Section (2020). Barbara was also Executive Producer on debbie tucker green’s ear for eye (2021) and a producer on Till, an upcoming American biographical drama film co-written and directed by Chinonye Chukwu and starring Whoopi Goldberg and Danielle Deadwyler.
Behind the scenes Wilson and Broccoli have dedicated their time, influence and expertise to support the film industry, particularly around advocating for education and skills. Broccoli is vice president for Film for BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts), president of the National Youth Theatre, director of Time’s Up UK and a trustee of Into Film, a film education charity working with young people aged 5-19.
Wilson is Honorary vice president of the Science Museum Foundation and a fellow of the Science Museum London. Both are directors of the Dana and Albert R Broccoli Foundation and co-founders of the London Screen Academy, where Brocolli is also a governor and Wilson serves as the vice chair of the Board of Trustees, Day One Trust. Broccoli also chaired the UK Film Skills Task Force, working with the BFI to create opportunities for young trainees from underrepresented backgrounds to get paid traineeships on major productions through the BFI Film Academy Future Skills Programme, including twenty trainees on No Time to Die.
In 2008, they were appointed Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and in 2014 they were honoured by the Producers Guild of America with the David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures. In 2022, they were appointed Commanders of the Order of the British Empire for services to film, drama, philanthropy and skills (CBE).
They join an eminent list of BFI Fellows including Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker, Tilda Swinton, Sir David Lean, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, Nicholas Roeg CBE, Orson Welles, Sir Ridley Scott, Dame Judi Dench, Ousmane Sembène, Bernardo Bertolucci and Sir Steve McQueen.
The BFI Fellowship will be presented to Michael and Barbara at the BFI Chair’s Dinner on 28 June at Claridges, London.
Photo credit: Jeff Spicer
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