Fred Schepisi is to receive the major honour at the second annual awards ceremony of the Australian Screen Directors Association (ASDA).

The outstanding achievement award recognises excellence for a body of work and will be presented by the president of the European Film Academy, German director Wim Wenders, at a ceremony in Sydney on Wednesday February 26.

"Australia is fortunate in being able to claim Fred Schepisi as one of our own," said ASDA president Donald Crombie. "The films he made in Australia - The Chant Of Jimmie Blacksmith, The Devil's Playground, Evil Angels - shaped the way Australians saw themselves and their society.

"Fred has proved himself both here and abroad to be a master of his craft. Equally at home with comedy and drama, his diverse credits include such commercially and critically successful films as Plenty, Roxanne and The Russia House. With Six Degrees Of Separation he made a film that is acknowledged internationally as one of the best films of the past decade. His latest work, Last Orders, has also played to great acclaim."

Five other directors will be recognised on the night for excellence over a body of work in film, television, documentary and animation. Free screenings celebrating Schepisi's work will be held on the following weekend.