The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced that Tessa Ross (photo) will receive the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award at the British Academy Film Awards on February 10. The Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award is presented annually in honour of Michael Balcon. Previous recipients include Mike Leigh, Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jarman, Mary Selway, Ridley and Tony Scott, Working Title Films, Lewis Gilbert, and the Harry Potter series of films. Last year's recipient was John Hurt.
Ross is the controller of Film and Drama at Channel 4, heading up feature film division Film4. Projects she has championed include Billy Elliot, Four Lions, Hunger, Tyrannosaur, In Bruges, Attack the Block, Nowhere Boy and Richard Ayoade's Submarine, amongst many others.
John Willis, Chairman of BAFTA, said, “Tessa Ross has made an immense contribution to British cinema during her time at Channel 4. Tessa's impeccable taste, and her passion for great writing and directing has shone through every film she has been involved with; she is an extremely worthy recipient of this important award.”
Ross said, “It's a surprise and a great honour to have been given this award by BAFTA. I owe it of course to the wonderful filmmakers I've had the privilege of working with – and to my team at Film4, with whom I share it.”
Ross came to Channel 4 from the BBC's Independent Commissioning Group where she was Head of Drama. She has previously been a governor at the British Film Institute. She is currently a member of the National Theatre board and an honorary associate of the London Film School.
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