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BAFTA to give special honour to Harry Potter franchise

BAFTA will give this year’s Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema to the Harry Potter film series at this year’s Orange BAFTAs.

Author JK Rowling and producer David Heyman [pictured] will be present on Feb 13 to receive the award during the ceremony.

The Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award was started in 1978 in honour of Michael Balcon. Past recipients include Pinewood & Shepperton, Mike Leigh, Working Title and Kenneth Branagh.

The Harry Potter franchise kicked off for Warner Bros in 2001 with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone; the first six films have grossed more than $5.4bn worldwide, a record for a film franchise.

The final Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 will open on July 15.

Finola Dwyer, Chair of the Film Committee commented, “As this great British film success story draws to a close with this year’s eagerly anticipated final instalment, it’s fitting that BAFTA honours the Harry Potter films and their contribution to the British film industry. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to celebrate with JK Rowling and David Heyman at the Film Awards.”

Producer David Heyman added, “On behalf of the over 2,000 people who worked in front of and behind the camera on each of the Harry Potter films I would like to say how honoured we all are to receive this Award. And thank you to Jo Rowling for entrusting us to bring her magnificent books to the screen.”

“It’s a thrill to see the Harry Potter films recognized with such a prestigious honor,” said Alan Horn, President and Chief Operating Officer, Warner Bros.  “It’s been gratifying to be part of this great franchise, and we join BAFTA in applauding our extraordinary filmmakers, our wonderful cast, and of course JK Rowling, who started it all with her beloved literary works.”

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