Bernardo Bertolucci to receive 2010 BBC Four World Cinema Achievement Award

BBC Four is proud to announce that acclaimed director Bernardo Bertolucci is to be the recipient of the World Cinema Achievement Award at the seventh BBC Four World Cinema Awards, celebrating the best of international film-making and highlighting the channel’s commitment to international cinema.

With a career spanning five decades, Bertolucci is one of the pioneering figures of 20th Century Italian cinema from his early films La Commare Secca (1962) and The Conformist (1970). Collaborations with international producers made him a respected director on a global scale, The Last Tango In Paris (1972), 1900 (1976) and the nine times Academy Award-winning The Last Emperor (1987), including Best Picture and Best Director for Bertolucci.

Mark Bell, Commissioning Editor, BBC Arts, says: “It is an amazing privilege to welcome the legendary Bernardo Bertolucci to this year’s awards. He has been at the vanguard of Italian and Western cinema for nearly f50 years, and I am honoured to have him associated with this year’s Achievement Award.”

Bertolucci will receive his award at a special BBC Four television ceremony, presented by Jonathan Ross on Thursday 7 October 2010 at the BFI Southbank in London to be aired on Saturday 9 October 2010. BBC Four will also showcase Bernardo Bertolucci’s talents by broadcasting his 1990 epic The Sheltering Sky in conjunction with the World Cinema Awards in October.

In addition to Bertolucci receiving his award, The World Cinema Awards will also celebrate the best of foreign film with an award to a film voted for by top UK-wide film writers. This year’s shortlist is as follows, with the winner to be announced on the 7 October 2010:

Let The Right One In (director: Tomas Alfredson) 

Twelve year-old Oskar is a shy boy, regularly bullied by his classmates. When Eli moves in next door, she and Oskar become friends, but this nocturnal neighbour is not what she seems. As their relationship develops, Oskar and Eli are drawn into a strange and seemingly impossible relationship.This brilliant film is a vampire thriller, a revenge fantasy and a tender love story.

I Am Love (director: Luca Guadagnino) 

Tilda Swinton is brilliant as the matriarch of a well-to-do Milanese family in this film about wealth, ritual and style. With a strange poise and grace she appears somehow removed from events. When the opportunity to indulge her own senses and emotions appears, the veneers of class, duty and loyalty slowly peel away. A sumptuous melodrama topped with a resplendent soundtrack by John Adams.

A Prophet (director: Jacques Audiard) 

This red-blooded prison drama charts the rise of a young French-Muslim inmate through a prison’s inner-criminal ranks. Falling in with the ruling Corsican gang, Malik must navigate the violence and ethnic mistrust of prison life. An essay in hard realism. A Prophet offers a steely take on racial tensions in France by a master of the contemporary French thriller genre.

The White Ribbon (director: Michael Haneke) 

Superbly shot in black and white, Haneke’s dazzlingly intelligent film is a revealing, resonant study of a seemingly prosperous village in Germany just before the First World War. Malicious incidents – some small, some not small – are happening around the village and, while no perpetrator is identified, the very structure of this small community seems to be under threat.

Waltz With Bashir (director: Ari Folman) 

From contemporary interviews with fellow veterans, director Ali Folman seeks to retrieve and make sense of his own memories of the 1982 Lebanon War. Almost entirely through animation, a vivid and subjective picture of conflict emerges. This extraordinary and powerful film has caused great debate about the horrors of war, individuals’ roles in it and about the blurred lines between memory, documentary and fiction.

The World Cinema Awards is a Scotland Arts production for BBC Vision, Executive Produced by Allan Campbell, commissioned by Arts Commissioning Editor Mark Bell for and on behalf of Richard Klein, Controller of BBC Four.

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