One of Britain's most acclaimed directors, John Boorman is also known as one of the commercial mainstream's most independently-minded directors. He has been quoted as saying "filmmaking is the process of turning money into light and then back into money again," an epigram whose simplicity has in many ways defined the trajectory of his career. Boorman has also produced most of his own films and is regarded by film bonders as a highly responsible producer who always brings a film in on - or more usually under - budget with very high production values.
Boorman's Hollywood directing debut was with cult classic Point Blank (1967), which The Sunday Times has named as one of the ten best thrillers of all time. His first nomination at the Cannes International Film Festival was for Best Direction on Leo the Last (1970). Boorman’s Deliverance (1972), nominated for three Oscars, quickly became a classic. Other well-known works by John Boorman include Zardoz (1973; starring Sean Connery), Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), The Emerald Forest (1985) and the acclaimed Excalibur (1981).
Best Direction Award
With Hope and Glory (1987), Boorman’s incredible narrative strength came back to the forefront. A surprisingly gentle, semi-autobiographical account of a boy's experiences during the London Blitz, it was hailed for its unforced exuberance. The General (1998) – which told the story of legendary, real-life Irish crime lord Martin Cahill – won the Best Direction award at Cannes. In 2004, John directed In My Country starring Samuel Jackson and Juliette Binoche, which won the peace award at the 2004 Berlin Film Festival.
Boorman's most recent picture, Queen & Country (2014), premiered at Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes International Film Festival and was released as a commercial success across the US and Europe in 2015.
Boorman is also a published author and has been a contributor and editor to thirteen annual editions of Projections, a series of books published by Faber & Faber (UK), in which filmmakers write about their craft. Boorman is also the author of “Money into Light: The Emerald Forest Diary”, which chronicles the three year journey Boorman took to make the film.
In 2013, the British Film Institute bestowed its highest honour to John Boorman with a presentation of a BFI fellowship.
In 2004, Boorman was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship, a lifetime achievement award presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts “in recognition of outstanding achievement in the art forms of the moving image”.