His outstanding performance as the beloved William Fisher in the glorious film adaptation of Keith Waterhouse’s beloved novel Billy Liar was witty and intelligent. From Dr Zhivago to The Dresser, Tom Courtenay has become one of the most respected actors in the country. He began as the face of the ‘kitchen-sink’ drama and, since then, has moulded himself into a highly credible and astute actor. Courtenay went on to become an established English actor in film and, more prominently, in the theatre. In 1983 he was nominated for an Academy Award and in 2001 he received a knighthood. I am delighted to announce that this April Sir Tom Courtenay will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the 19th Bradford International Film Festival.
Past winners include ‘Carry On…’ actress Barbara Windsor, Sweet Sixteen director Ken Loach, actor turned director Richard Attenborough and the sensational John Hurt. Courtenay’s recent film roles include a part in Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debute Quartet. Tom Courtenay has requested that the festival screen one of his favourite films of which he has been a part. In response to this, the festival are pleased to announce that they will be screening the delightful One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, adapted from the novel, this film was shot entirely within its location of Norway and is a ‘fly on the wall’ look into the experiences of a prisoner under the rule of Stalin.
Thanks to his 50 year career in film, television and theatre, Sir Tom Courtenay is a very deserved winner of this honour. A man who has given us some truly loveable and moving characters on the cinema screen, in our television sets and on the stage, Tom Courtenay is a truly admirable British gem. Sir Tom, I applaud you.
Thanks for reading and let’s all keep supporting our beloved film industry.