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Conceptualised by James Quinn almost 66 years ago in 1953, the London Film Institute (BFI), UK’s principal arts promotion and preservation organisation, hosts the London Film Festival every year. It is a celebration of the world of cinema, with over 300 screenings of movies and documentaries from talent across 70 countries taking place every year.
What started as a casual conversation about the lack of a film festival in London amongst people like James Quinn and Dilys Powell, a Sunday Times film critic, materialised into a festival which is now regarded as one of the biggest and most diverse in the world. The first ever film screened at the Festival was in 1957 by Akira Kurosawa and was called the Throne of Blood.
As part of the BFI London Film Festival, the BFI Fellowship is awarded to individuals with an exemplary contribution to the field of motion arts and culture and is accorded as one of the highest honours in this field possible. The ceremony takes place at the National Film Theatre, with the 1st one taking place in 1983.
Till date, 86 BFI fellowships have been given including to Satyajit Ray, Martin Scorsese, Elizabeth Taylor, Danny Boyle, Al Pacino, Cate Blanchett, and Hugh Grant, amongst many. Harvey Weinstein was also conferred with this honour in the year 2002 but was later stripped off of the title following numerous sexual assault and harassment cases against him.
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