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Mike Leigh to be Berlin film fest jury president

Mike Leigh to be Berlin film fest jury president

BERLIN, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- British director Mike Leigh is to serve as jury president at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival, organizers announced.
Bean, Miller win top theater awards

Bean, Miller win top theater awards

LONDON, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Richard Bean won the Best Play prize for his works "The Heretic" and "One Man, Two Guvnors" at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards ceremony in London.
Simon Channing-Williams dead at 64

Simon Channing-Williams dead at 64

LONDON, April 14 (UPI) -- British film producer Simon Channing-Williams has died of cancer at the age of 64, the BBC said.

Movie critics tab 'Bashir' as best picture

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- U.S. movie critics say the animated documentary "Waltz with Bashir" was the best film of 2008, giving it a National Society of Film Critics award.

National critics name 'Bashir' best film

NEW YORK, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- The National Society of Film Critics, in a vote held in New York Saturday, named "Waltz with Bashir" its Best Picture of the Year 2008.
New York critics name 'Milk' best film

New York critics name 'Milk' best film

NEW YORK, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- The New York Film Critics Circle Wednesday declared "Milk" the best film of 2008.

Abortion debate heats up in Britain

LONDON, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Anti-abortion protesters rallied Saturday outside the Houses of Parliament in London as Britain gears up for another debate on the issue.

Big-name Hollywood head to Edinburgh fest

EDINBURGH, Scotland, July 11 (UPI) -- Award-winning stars from both sides of the Atlantic will be part of the line-up for this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Weaver honored at festival with new award

EDINBURGH, Scotland, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Actress Sigourney Weaver became the first recipient of the Edinburgh International Film Festival's Diamond Award this week for her cinematic career.

Diamond Award debuts at Edinburgh festival

EDINBURGH, Scotland, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- Scotland's Edinburgh International Film Festival is set to present its first Diamond Awards this year to individuals who have impressive cinematic careers.

'Aviator,' 'Vera Drake' sweep BAFTAs

LONDON, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Martin's Scorsese's "The Aviator" and Mike Leigh's "Vera Drake" split the top awards Saturday at the 2005 British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards.

'Vera Drake' pulls top honors

LONDON, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- "Vera Drake," a drama about a 1950s abortionist, was best film and Imelda Staunton was best actress in the 2004 Evening Standard British Film Awards.

Analysis: 'Aviator' flight path to Oscar?

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- With a field-leading 11 Oscar nominations and a Producers Guild of America best picture prize safely in hand, "The Aviator" -- Martin Scorsese's biography of Ho
PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter

Nominees for 77th Academy Awards

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Here is a list of nominees for the 77th Academy Awards, which were announced Tuesday:

'Aviator,' 'Eternal Sunshine' up for BAFTA

LONDON, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- The nominations for this year's British Academy Film Awards have been announced, with "The Aviator" leading the charge with 14 nominations.
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Wiki

Mike Leigh, OBE (born 20 February 1943) is an English writer and director of film and theatre. He studied theatre at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and did his early acting with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He began as a theatre director and playwright in the 1960s, and then in the 1970s, he made the transition to television plays, many of which were characterized by a gritty "kitchen sink realism" style. Some of his well-known films include Life is Sweet (1990), the Gilbert and Sullivan biography Topsy Turvy (1999), and the bleak working-class drama All or Nothing (2002). His most notable works are arguably Naked (1993) for which he won the Best Director award at Cannes, the BAFTA-winning (and Oscar-nominated) Palme d'Or winner Secrets & Lies (1996) and Vera Drake (2004).

Leigh begins projects without a script; instead, he sets out a basic premise, and lets the ideas develop through improvisation by the actors, who explore their character.

Leigh was born in Broughton, Salford, Lancashire, the son of Phyllis Pauline (née Cousin) and Alfred Abraham Leigh, a doctor in an overwhelmingly working-class area of Salford (near Manchester). Leigh was brought up in a Jewish immigrant family (whose surname was originally "Lieberman", but was anglicised before Leigh's birth). Initially trained as an actor at RADA, Leigh went on to start honing his directing skills at East 15 Acting School where he met the actress Alison Steadman.

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