6 Things you should know about Sir Michael Balcon, Birmingham’s Film Knight:
Birmingham born Sir Michael Balcon (1896-1977) is featuring in a brand new exhibition at the Parkside gallery. The exhibition is dedicated to the film producer whose work had a huge impact upon the British film industry for over half a century, he was knighted for his contribution to British cinema in 1948.
Here are six things you should know about the legendary film producer:
- Sir Michael Balcon helped create the original BAFTA awards. Balcons’ grandson Daniel Day Lewis has won the BAFTA award for best actor four times along with an three Oscars.
- Balcons’ filmography features over 300 films including cult classics such as BAFTA award winning The Blue Lamp and Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps, Whiskey Galore and Kind Hearts Coronets.
- Birmingham born Balcon would make references to his child hood city. In the Blue Lamp, the hero protagonists PC George Dixon was named after the school he attended in Birmingham.
- Balcon was an integral part of the British Film Institute (BFI) and helped set up the Experimental Film Fund in the 50’s. The fund has since become part of the BFI’s regular funding for British Film Projects.
- Balcons granddaughter, Tasmin Day-Lewis followed her grandfather’s footsteps and has also directed and produced movies. Her work includes Private Wound (1996), The Healing Arts (1986) and The Cat and the Canary (1978).
- The Blue Lamp (1950) which featured Dirk Bogarde and Jack Warner won a BAFTA for the best British movie in that same year. This film was produced by Sir Michael Balcon and directed by Basil Dearden.
“Birmingham’s Film Knight – Michael Balcon” exhibition is set to open to the public in the gallery space on Monday 12th September and will continue till the 21st of October 2016.