Star Wars boss Kathleen Kennedy is to receive the Fellowship of the Academy at next year’s EE British Academy Film Awards.
Awarded annually, the Fellowship is the highest accolade bestowed by BAFTA and is awarded in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, games or television.
One of the co-founders of Amblin Entertainment with Spielberg and Frank Marshall she and husband Marshall later formed Kennedy/Marshall which she stepped down from after 20 years to become President of Lucasfilm following its purchase by Disney in 2012.
In her latest role Kennedy is responsible for shaping the Star Wars franchise, including the hit Rogue One prequel, the sequel trilogy which concludes at cinemas this Christmas, and the Disney+ series, The Mandalorian.
Her past film credits include some of modern cinema’s greatest hits, including E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Gremlins, The Goonies, Back to the Future, Jurrassic Park, Schindler’s List, The Sixth Sense, The Bourne Identity and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Adventures of Tintin.
Her rollcall of more than 70 films have collectively garnered 119 BAFTA nominations and 27 wins, and 25 Academy Awards from 125 nominations and her 40 year career has included collaborations with legendary directors including David Fincher, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, Robert Zemeckis, JJ Abrams, Marjane Satrapi, Frank Oz and Richard Donner.
Speaking about her award, Kathleen Kennedy said: “British filmmaking has always played a significant role in both my life and career.
“The boundless creative vision of artists such as Tom Stoppard, David Lean, Chris Nolan, Stephen Daldry and Peter Morgan continues to inspire me.
“The recent Star Wars movies – all shot on sound stages and locations across the UK – are just the latest opportunities that I’ve had the privilege to work with British crews and filmmakers, which began in 1980 with Raiders of the Lost Ark and continued with Temple of Doom, Empire of the Sun, Young Sherlock Holmes, War Horse, The Adventures of Tintin, and others.
“I am deeply honored to receive the Fellowship from BAFTA, and am incredibly thankful to have worked with so many talented members of our extended family in the British filmmaking community.”
Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive of BAFTA, said: “I’m delighted that we are recognising Kathleen Kennedy’s impressive career with a BAFTA Fellowship. Her contribution to filmmaking has been exceptional.
“She is a trailblazer who has opened the door for many people to join the industry, and the number of iconic cinematic moments she has helped bring to the big screen has enriched the industry and enthralled the cinema–loving public.”
Marc Samuelson, Chair of BAFTA’s Film Committee, said: “Through all her productions in the UK, Kathleen Kennedy has led the industry in her commitment to encouraging training, inclusion and diversity at all levels of crew and cast.
“She has happily shouldered the responsibility which falls to these major productions and her personal impact on improving the range of superb, available, behind-the-camera talent is second to none.”