June 21, 2024

British filmmaker David Yates, known for his extensive work across the “Harry Potter” universe, will be the 2023 recipient of the Raindance Icon Award.

Previous recipients of the Raindance Film Festival award include Vanessa Redgrave, Jonathan Pryce, Gemma Arterton, Michael Caine, Sally Hawkins, Jude Law, Olivia Colman, Terry Gilliam, Guy Richie and Ken Loach.

Yates won his first BAFTA for BBC miniseries “The Way We Live Now” (2002) and the Directors Guild of Great Britain Award for “State of Play” (2003). In 2004, Yates directed “Sex Traffic,” winning another BAFTA.

The filmmaker then directed the the last four of the “Harry Potter” films, culminating in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.” In 2016, he directed the action adventure “The Legend of Tarzan” and then returned to J.K. Rowling’s world of wizards with “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” the same year. “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” in 2018 and “The Secrets of Dumbledore” in 2022 followed.

Alongside his directing work Yates supports emerging writers and directors, with funding for The Bush Theatre in London, an annual scholarship at The National Film and Television School and ongoing support for The Watersprite Film Festival in Cambridge.

Yates said: “The Raindance Festival has been part of our film making landscape for over 30 years, championing and showcasing the work of emerging writers, producers and directors, from all over the world. Elliot and his team have encouraged, inspired and helped educate so many along the way, including me, and it’s an honor to be the recipient of a Raindance Icon Award as we celebrate and enjoy the work of this year’s latest generation of story tellers.”

Raindance founder Elliot Grove added: “From making hard-hitting, award-winning television to taking the director reins of one of the biggest and most-loved film franchises of all time, David’s career trajectory is nothing short of inspirational. His ongoing support of emerging writers and directors is also commendable. An alumnus of the Raindance Film School, and a member of the Raindance Film Festival jury in 2019, David Yates is already a part of the Raindance story. His contribution to the British film industry is iconic, and it’s therefore a great privilege to present David Yates with a Raindance Icon Award.”

Yates will be presented the award at the festival’s opening gala on Oct. 25. The 31st edition of the festival (Oct. 25-Nov.4) will open with the U.K. premiere of British actor Jack Huston’s directorial debut “Day of the Fight” and close with the U.K. premiere of Isabel Coixet’s “Un Amor.”

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