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Last Updated: Friday, 14 December 2007, 10:46 GMT
Awards named after Attenborough
Lord Attenborough
Lord Attenborough starred in Jurassic Park and Elizabeth
An annual British awards ceremony is to be renamed in honour of Oscar-winning film director Lord Attenborough.

The Richard Attenborough Film Awards will take place in January, replacing the UK Regional Critics' Film Awards.

Organisers hailed the 84-year-old as "a vital part of the backbone of the British film industry".

Lord Attenborough, who has directed 12 films, received two Academy Awards in 1983, for best picture and best director on Gandhi.

"I have always believed that the cinema's astonishing power to surprise, move, amuse and, above all, entertain can only be fulfilled when films are experienced by audiences," Lord Attenborough said.

"As three-quarters of UK cinema admissions take place outside the London area, I am only too pleased to support the regional critics in their appreciation and celebration of the finest film-making."

The honour came as Lord Attenborough attended the premiere of his latest film, Closing the Ring, in Belfast.

It stars Shirley MacLaine and Mischa Barton, and is based on a true story of an American woman whose great love was killed during World War II near Belfast when the bomber he was flying in crashed.

SEE ALSO
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16 Jun 07 |  Leicestershire
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