Mike Leigh awarded at Reykjavík International Film Festival

NEW DELHI: Internationally renowned British film director Mike Leigh has received the Reykjavík International Film Festival´s Puffin Lifetime Achievement Award.



Born in February 1943 in Salford, Greater Manchester, England, Leigh is a director and writer, known for Secrets & Lies (1996), Happy-Go-Lucky (2008) and Vera Drake (2004).


His films frequently centre on the British working class. Most of his work in theatre and film is done without any initial script. He and the actors improvise their characters and the scenes under his overall control.


He studied theatre at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and began as a theatre director and playwright in the mid-1960s. In the 1970s and 1980s his career moved between work for the theatre and making films for BBC Television, many of which were characterised by a gritty ‘kitchen sink realism’ style.


His most notable works are Naked (1993) for which he won the Best Director Award at Cannes, the BAFTA-winning and Oscar-nominated Palme d'Or winner Secrets & Lies (1996) and Golden Lion winner Vera Drake (2004).


He has also served as Member of jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997 and is the chairman of The London Film School. Additionally, he was made a Fellow of the British Film Institute in recognition of his outstanding contribution to film and television culture.  


His play, ‘Abigail's Party’, performed at the New Ambassador's Theatre, was nominated for a 2003 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Revival of 2002.


His films include Bleak Moments (1971), Hard Labour (TV, 1973), The Permissive Society (BBC Second City Firsts), Knock for Knock, Nuts in May, High Hopes (1988), Life Is Sweet (1990), A Sense of History (1992) – short, All or Nothing (2002), and Mr. Turner (2014)


He has also received an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1993 Queen's Honours List for his services to the film industry.


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