Emma Thompson To Receive Richard Harris Award

The Richard Harris Award, named for the late Richard Harris – a.k.a. Professor Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films, is given in recognition of outstanding contribution to British film by an actor throughout their career. It was first awarded in 2003, one year after the actor’s death.

This year’s recipient is none other than Emma Thompson (Professor Trelawney), who will be presented with the award at this year’s 17th Moet British Independent Film Awards on December 7 in London.

The award has previously been won by many Harry Potter alumni, including Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), Jim Broadbent (Professor Horace Slughorn), Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort), Sir Michael Gambon (Professor Dumbledore, 3-8), John Hurt (Garrick Ollivander), David Thewlis (Remus Lupin), and Julie Walters (Molly Weasley).

On receiving this award, Thompson said,

It is a very special award, in name of an incredible actor who inspired so many people during his career. I am honored to follow in the footsteps of my peers who have received this award before me.

In the past, Thompson has received awards for both acting and screenwriting, including Academy Awards for Best Actress in Howards End and Best Screenplay for Sense and Sensibility.

Congratulations to Emma for this award! Are you excited for her? Which films or roles of hers are your favorites?

Press Release


London, Wednesday 19th November – The recipient of The Richard Harris Award was announced today by Johanna von Fischer and Tessa Collinson, joint Directors, The Moët British Independent Film Awards.

Emma Thompson will receive The Richard Harris Award at the ceremony on Sunday 7h December at Old Billingsgate.

The Richard Harris Award was introduced in 2002 in honour of Richard Harris and recognises outstanding contribution to British film by an actor.  Previous winners have included, John Hurt, David Thewlis, Bob Hoskins, Jim Broadbent, Daniel Day-Lewis, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon and Julie Walters in 2013.

Emma Thompson is one of the world’s most respected talents for her versatility in acting as well as screenwriting.  She is the sole artist thus far to have received an Academy Award for both acting and screenwriting.

Thompson commented: “I am so delighted to be receiving The Richard Harris Award at this year’s MBIFAs. It is a very special award, in name of an incredible actor who inspired so many people during his career. I am honoured to follow in the footsteps of my peers who have received this award before me, and look forward to celebrating a fantastic year of British independent filmmaking on 7th December.”

In 1992, Thompson caused a sensation with her portrayal of Margaret Schlegel in the Merchant Ivory adaptation of E.M. Forster’s HOWARDS END.  Sweeping the Best Actress category wherever it was considered, the performance netted her a BAFTA Award, Los Angeles Film Critics Award, New York Film Critics Award, Golden Globe and Academy Award.  She earned two Oscar nominations the following year for her work in The REMAINS OF THE DAY and IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER.

In 1995, Thompson’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, directed by Ang Lee, won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay as well as the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay and Best Screenplay awards from the Writers Guild of America among others. For her performance in the film she was honored with a Best Actress award from BAFTA and nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award. Her performance in Richard Curtis’ LOVE ACTUALLY earned Thompson Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the 2004 Evening Standard Film Awards, London Film Critics Circle Awards and Empire Film Awards, along with a BAFTA nomination. In 2013, Thompson’s moving portrayal of author ‘P.L. Travers’ in SAVING MR. BANKS earned her both the National Board of Review and Empire Best Actress Awards, along with Golden Globe, Broadcast Film Critics, SAG and BAFTA nominations.

Thompson completed filming this summer in Scotland on THE LONG MIDNIGHT OF BARNEY THOMSON opposite Robert Carlyle and Ray Winstone, and on director Ken Kwapis’ A WALK IN THE WOODS, opposite Robert Redford and Nick Nolte. She is also part of Jason Reitman’s MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN as well as the upcoming ADAM JONES, starring Bradley Cooper.

In March of this year, to the delight of both critics and audiences, she portrayed ‘Mrs. Lovett’ in the New York Philharmonic’s staged production of Stephen Sondheim’s SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET, opposite bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, in the title role. She and Terfel will reprise their roles, in a limited run at the London Coliseum with the English National Opera, for the ENO’s first ever season of musical theater, in March of 2015.

Thompson’s feature film debut came in 1988, starring opposite Jeff Goldblum in the comedy THE TALL GUY.  Her other film credits include HENRY V; DEAD AGAIN; PETER’S FRIENDS; MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING; JUNIOR; CARRINGTON; THE WINTER GUEST; IMAGINING ARGENTINA; PRIMARY FICTION; STRANGER THAN FICTION; LAST CHANCE HARVEY (Golden Globe nomination as Best Actress);  LOVE PUNCH; Pixar’s Academy Award-winning animated film, BRAVE, and MEN IN BLACK 3.

In 2010, she reprised the title role of the magical Nanny in NANNY MCPHEE RETURNS, for which she also wrote the screenplay and acted as an Executive Producer.  Thompson created the character for the screen originally in 2004, in her own adaptation of NANNY MCPHEE, DIRECTED by Kirk Jones. In 2004, she brought to the screen JK Rowling’s character of Sybil Trelawney in HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN, for director Alfonso Cuaron, and in 2007, she reprised the role in HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, for director David Yates.

As previously announced, Benedict Cumberbatch will receive The Variety Award at this year’s MBIFAs.

This year’s nominations were announced on 3rd November at St Martins Lane, London. The nominees for Best British Independent Film were ’71; CALVARY; MR TURNER; PRIDE and THE IMITATION GAME. Leading the charge this year is ’71 with nine nominations; PRIDE with seven nominations and CATCH ME DADDY; FRANK and MR TURNER with five nominations each.

For the full list of nominations visit http://www.bifa.org.uk/nominations/2014

This year’s Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday 7th December at Old Billingsgate.

Now in its 17th year, the Awards were created by Raindance
 in 1998 and set out to celebrate merit and achievement in independently funded British filmmaking,
to honour new talent, and to promote British films and filmmaking to a wider public.


Proud supporters and patrons of The Moët British Independent Film Awards include Mike Figgis, Tom Hollander, Adrian Lester, Ken Loach, Ewan McGregor, Helen Mirren, Samantha Morton, James Nesbitt, Michael Sheen, Trudie Styler, Tilda Swinton, Meera Syal, David Thewlis, Ray Winstone and Michael Winterbottom.

The Moët British Independent Film Awards would like to thank all its supporters, especially: Moët & Chandon, 3 Mills Studios, BBC Films, M.A.C Cosmetics, Movado, Raindance, St Martins Lane, Soho House, Swarovski, Variety, AllCity, Intermission.