David Yates picks up an honourary award from the National Film and Television School

Harry Potter director David Yates is to receive an honourary fellowship from the National Film and Television School.

The director, a graduate of the NFTS, will be honoured at the school’s annual graduation ceremony today (February 26). Yates’ wife, Yvonne Walcot, will pick it up on his behalf, due to his Harry Potter filming commitments.

Previous recipients of the award, which recognises outstanding contribution to the British film and television industry, include Lord Attenborough, David Lean, Nick Park and Alan Parker.

After graduating from NFTS, Yates began his career in television, directing high profile drams including State Of Play, which was recently adapted for the big screen, and The Way We Live Now, before going on to direct the fifth  Harry Potter film, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix.

He is currently working on the final two films in the Harry Potter series, having also directed Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

Yates said: “The NFTS gave me my first big break by letting me through its doors for which I will always be grateful – and to return home and be acknowledged for the work I’ve done since graduating is a real treat.”

Nik Powell, director of the NFTS added: “It is a poignant and inspiring moment to have one of our own alumni cheer on the next generation of behind-the-camera talent, even if in typical film fashion, David could only be here on screen due to his current Harry Potter commitments’.