Noel Clarke will be honoured at the British Academy Film Awards, for his Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) today announced that award-winning actor, producer, writer, director (and former Doctor Who star) Noel Clarke will receive the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award at the 74th EE British Academy Film Awards. BAFTA will present Clarke with the award at the ceremony in London on Saturday, the 10th of April.
The Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award is one of BAFTA’s highest honours. The Academy presents it annually in honour of Michael Balcon, the film producer known for his work with Ealing Studios. Andy Serkis was the recipient at the 2020 Film Awards. Previous recipients also include Ridley and Tony Scott, Film4 Productions, Working Title Films, Angela Allen, the Harry Potter series of films, War Doctor actor John Hurt, Tessa Ross, Peter Greenaway, BBC Films, and more.
From his early days as Doctor Who’s Mickey Smith, Noel Clarke has become one of British cinema’s most distinctive voices
Clarke is, of course, most familiar to Blogtor Who readers for his role as Mickey Smith. Opposite Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant, Mickey was the Doctor’s first black onscreen companion. But Mickey has been just one role during a career showing an outstanding dedication to independent British cinema. Moreover, from his very first TV appearance over two decades ago in the ground-breaking Channel 4 series, Metrosexuality, Noel Clarke has played a pivotal role in bringing diversity to British screens in front and behind the camera and pushing under-represented talent and stories to the forefront of cinema and television. Clarke captivated audiences early on for his performance in the play Where Do We Live at the Royal Court. It was a role that later won Clarke the Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Newcomer.
He wrote and starred in the cult phenomenon feature film Hood trilogy, Kidulthood (2006), Adulthood (2008) and Brotherhood (2016). The second and third films in the celebrated trilogy also saw him move behind the camera as a director. The award-winning films focussed on the lives of troubled teenagers turned adults living in West London. Following the success of Kidulthood and Adulthood he received the BAFTA Rising Star Award in 2009.
Through his production company Unstoppable, Clarke has built an impressive catalogue of independent British films
In 2007, Clarke co-founded his own production company, Unstoppable Entertainment, later joining with fellow actor/producer Jason Maza. Their goal is to champion fresh, emerging and diverse voices. Since then, the company has produced over ten feature films. These include the directorial debut of Jessica Hynes (Human Nature), The Fight. And also 10×10, directed by Suzi Ewing and starring Luke Evans and Kelly Reilly.
In 2018, the company joined forces with All3Media and launched Unstoppable Film and Television to expand their remit to include television. Under his expanded production banner, Clarke co-created and starred with Ashely Walters in Sky One’s massively successful original drama Bulletproof. The show became one of the highest rated series on Sky since it began in 2018. Sky have recently confirmed a fourth series will start filming later this year.
Clarke’s other on-screen credits include J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness, cult film Heartless, crime thriller The Corrupted, and romantic comedy Fisherman’s Friends. This year he also starred alongside Michael Caine in Twist, a modern day take on Oliver Twist with Unstoppable producing.
An inspiration and a champion of diverse voices in film
Marc Samuelson, Chair of BAFTA’s Film Committee, praised Clarke as an inspiring figure in British cinema. “Noel is an inspiration to me and to many others, for his central and much-needed role in supporting and championing diverse voices in the British film industry. He is a multi-hyphenate who early on in his career has managed successfully to cross the line from respected actor to filmmaker. He truly is able to do it all – acting, writing, directing and producing. His authentic portrayal of London life in his critically acclaimed Hood trilogy cemented his place in British cinema and he continues to push boundaries with his work today. He is now building a hugely successful production company, giving opportunities to a wide range of talented people from many different under-represented groups. I cannot think of a more deserving recipient for this year’s award.”
Noel Clarke commented: “Thank you BAFTA for this acknowledgment and recognition of my work over the past two decades. I will endeavour to continue to make ground-breaking work and open doors for underrepresented people that may not often get a chance.”
Clarke remains a familiar face on our screens, with still more projects to come this year
Viewers can currently see Clarke in the Sky Cinema original film SAS: Red Notice alongside Sam Heughan, Andy Serkis, Ruby Rose and Tom Wilkinson. He’ll next appear on our screens as the lead in the new ITV drama Viewpoint due out this Spring. Like almost everyone connected to Russell T Davies’ groundbreaking Doctor Who revival, his career continues to shine.
The EE British Academy Film Awards 2021
This year, the EE British Academy Film Awards will celebrate cinema across the weekend of 10 and 11 April. Two shows, recognising the best in film of the past year, will be broadcast virtually from London’s Royal Albert Hall. The first show, celebrating the craft of film, will be broadcast on Saturday 10 April on BBC Two and BBC Two HD. The show on Sunday 11 April will be broadcast on BBC One and BBC One HD. Both programmes will be broadcast in all major territories around the world.