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Monday, 15 April, 2002, 09:34 GMT 10:34 UK
George Lucas honoured by Bafta
George Lucas and Harrison Ford
Lucas's Indiana Jones films made a star of Harrison Ford (R)
Film director and producer George Lucas has been given the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film, by the Los Angeles arm of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta).

At a ceremony on Friday, the creator of Star Wars was honoured for his work with the UK film industry.

George Lucas
Lucas (L) gave up his director's salary to find a backer for Star Wars
"He has contributed immensely to our industry as an innovative filmmaker, changing the way movies are made, seen and heard," said Gary Dartnall, chairman of Bafta Los Angeles.

The 11th annual Britannia Awards was hosted by actress and writer Carrie Fisher, who starred in the original Star Wars trilogy.

Accident

Steven Spielberg, who was Lucas's collaborator on the Indiana Jones trilogy, was last year's recipient of the Britannia Award.

George Lucas's filmography
As producer:

Star Wars (1977)
Star Wars V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)
Star Wars VI - Return Of The Jedi (1983)
Indiana Jones And The Temple of Doom (1984)
Labyrinth (1986)
Willow (1988)
Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (1989)
Star Wars I - The Phantom Menace (1999)
Star Wars II - Attack Of The Clones (2002)

As director:

THX 1138 (1970)
American Graffiti (1973)
Star Wars (1977)
Star Wars I - The Phantom Menace (1999)
Star Wars II - Attack Of The Clones (2002)
Since the mid-1970s, Lucas has directed or produced nine films on location in the UK, including Labyrinth and Willow.

Lucas's success in the film industry came after a serious car accident promoted a change in his original career plan to be a professional racing driver.

After attending the University of Southern California film school he wrote and directed 1973's American Graffiti, which won a Golden Globe and five Academy Award nominations.

Epic

He then began writing the screenplay for Star Wars but the concept was turned down by a number of studios before Twentieth Century Fox offered to back it - in return for Lucas's agreement to forgo his directing salary.

Carrie Fisher and George Lucas
Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher (L) hosted the ceremony
The space epic went on to break all box office records and earned seven Academy Awards.

As well as continuing to extend the Star Wars story with prequels and sequels, Lucas created the Indiana Jones series, another huge international hit, with Steven Spielberg.

In 1992 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave Lucas the Irving G Thalberg Award for his lifetime achievement.

The cable and satellite channel Home Box Office was also given a Britannia Award for excellence in TV at Friday's ceremony.

See also:

15 Apr 02 | Film
The Lucas enigma
24 Oct 01 | Film
Star Wars breaks DVD records
26 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Indiana Jones tops hero hot list
03 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
Satellite TV feels force of Star Wars
20 Jul 99 | Entertainment
Star Wars sets UK record
14 Jul 99 | Star Wars
The Phantom Menace invades the UK
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