Mike Leigh in Career Honor From Malta's Mediterrane Film Festival

Malta’s Mediterrane Film Festival will honor BAFTA-winning writer-director Mike Leigh (Vera DrakeAnother YearHappy-Go-Lucky) with its inaugural career achievement Golden Bee Award this year.

The honor is awarded “in recognition of a lifetime achievement in film,” organizers said on Monday. “Leigh, who has received seven Academy Award nominations across his career, will also host a masterclass in the upcoming second edition of the festival,” which will take place June 22-30 in Valletta, the capital of the island of Malta. 

Palme d’Or-winning director Leigh will be in conversation with Adrian Wootton, who previously served as acting director of the British Film Institute and is currently CEO of Film London and the British Film Commission.

Last year, StudioCanal acquired U.K. rights to Leigh‘s secretive project Hard Truths, starring Secrets & Lies Star Marianne Jean-Baptiste, marking the first time the distributor has worked with the iconic director. Bleecker Street acquired the Film4-backed feature for the U.S.

The British and Malta Film Commissions signed a memorandum of understanding partnership agreement in 2023, with this creative relationship continuing during the festival. The session featuring Leigh will form part of a larger series of masterclasses and panels taking place at the festival, with more programming details to be unveiled in the near future.

“This year’s edition of the festival promises to create unmissable moments of connection and celebration within the film industry from the Mediterranean and beyond, as we look forward to welcoming some of its most acclaimed talent to Malta,” said Johann Grech, Malta’s Film Commissioner. “We are honored to present the inaugural Career Achievement Golden Bee Award to Mike Leigh and are eager to delve into the expertise he has gained throughout his legendary career in film.”

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