Page last updated at 20:37 GMT, Saturday, 20 March 2010

Actor John Hurt receives lifetime achievement award

John Hurt
Hurt plays Mr Ollivander in the forthcoming Harry Potter film

Veteran actor John Hurt has spoken of his "constant fight" for independent films shortly before he received a lifetime achievement award.

The star of Alien and The Elephant Man accepted the award at the Bradford International Film Festival (BIFF).

Speaking before the event, Hurt said he wanted films other than Hollywood blockbusters to be successful.

He said he was not ruling out the importance of large-scale studio films, but wished the balance was more even.

"It's been my constant fight all my life," he said.

"All you can do is prepare the ground. You can't just say this is how it ought to be because you've got to create a public that actually enjoys it - and therein lies the difficulties."

He said one solution was for big-budget films to just be shown in big cinema franchises, leaving others open for independent films.

"Of course it hasn't worked out that way because of avarice and greed and (it's) too fierce," he said.

HURT FILMS SHOWN AT FESTIVAL
Sinful Davey
10 Rillington Place
Midnight Express
The Elephant Man
1984
Scandal
Love and Death on Long Island
Shooting Dogs
Alien

Hurt received his lifetime accolade from BIFF artistic director Tony Earnshaw at the National Media Museum.

At the event, audience members asked questions prior to a screening of The Elephant Man.

Mr Earnshaw said: "John Hurt has been leading man, supporting player and scene-stealer.

"Always he has breathed vivid life into believable, plausible and credible characters, often against a backdrop of fancy, whimsy or plain bafflement.

"He appears in the final films in the Harry Potter franchise, thus enchanting an entirely new generation of admirers. It's what going to the cinema is all about."

Hurt said he had no plans to stop making films.

"I can't see any other reason to be alive unless you're taking an active interest in your area of life," he said.

"If life was to be just to stop and watch television - I couldn't contemplate that as being worthwhile at all."

The festival runs until 28 March at venues across Bradford and Yorkshire.



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