Christopher Nolan honoured with BFI Fellowship

Christopher Nolan received the BFI Fellowship at the annual BFI Chair’s Dinner, hosted by BFI Chair Tim Richards. The BFI Fellowship was presented to Christopher at the Rosewood Hotel, London by Cillian Murphy, who has worked with Nolan for almost 20 years, appearing in the Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, Dunkirk, and Oppenheimer. The BFI Fellowship recognises Nolan’s extraordinary achievements and enormous contribution to cinema as one of the world’s most innovative and influential film directors.  

Film industry guests in attendance with BFI Chief Executive Ben Roberts and Chair Tim Richards and NBCUniversal Studio Group Chair and Chief Content Officer Dame Donna Langley included Sir Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thomas, Sir Michael Caine, Tom Conti, Josh Hartnett, Hans Zimmer, Jennifer Lame, Hoyte van Hoytema, Barbara Broccoli CBE, Tom Hiddleston, Zawe Ashton, Michelle Dockery, Gurinder Chadha OBE, Misan Harriman, Molly Manning Walker, Stephen and Timothy Quay and Jay Hunt OBE; as well as UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, DCMS Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer and Chair of the Culture Select Committee Caroline Dinenage. 

On receiving the BFI Fellowship Christopher Nolan said: I was asked if in all of those years fighting to shoot on film, did you ever feel alone doing that? I was able to say I did not because my producer Emma Thomas always saw things the same way I did in terms of the importance of the medium.  So many people have helped me, so many people have been there for me, in so many different ways. I’m very moved to receive this, very moved by the presentation. This means the world to me.“ 

On presenting the BFI Fellowship to Christopher, Cillian Murphy said: “For the last 25 years Christopher Nolan has been making films that are unique, boundary-pushing, singular, provocative, ambitious and unforgettable. He is a one in a million, a true legend, one of the greatest directors in the world. It is a privilege of mine to know him, and to have worked with him so closely over the last 20 years. I have the utmost respect for him as an artist and a human being.”  

BFI Chair Tim Richards said: “BFI Chair Tim Richards said: “I’m delighted to be honouring and recognising British film director Christopher Nolan with a BFI Fellowship for his outstanding contribution to cinema. He is one of the greatest filmmakers of the 21st century, creating films that captivate audiences all over the world, generate billions at the box office and garner critical acclaim and awards. Christopher’s passion as a filmmaker is matched by his commitment to preserving celluloid through his involvement with The Film Foundation and his own support via the Morf Foundation for the BFI’s photochemical work. In doing so, current and future audiences will be able to continue to enjoy and learn from our incredibly rich history of cinema for many years to come.” 

This month’s issue of Sight and Sound magazine, which is available now, features an extensive cover interview with Christopher Nolan.  

Nolan joins the distinguished ranks of other BFI Fellows including David Lean, Bette Davis, Akira Kurosawa, Ousmane Sembène, Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, Orson Welles, Thelma Schoonmaker, Derek Jarman, Martin Scorsese, Satyajit Ray, Yasujirō Ozu and, most recently, Tilda Swinton, Barbara Broccoli, Michael G Wilson and Spike Lee.