Elba, whose breakout role came as Stringer Bell in The Wire, founded Green Door Pictures in 2013 with a specific focus on inclusion and opportunity for undiscovered filmmaking talent.
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The company has worked with Film London, Creative Access and the MAMA Youth Project to provide vocational training for undiscovered creatives, while he also showcased emerging talent through BBC Three project The Idris Takeover.
Elba has spoken about his diversity mission in UK Parliament, while he has also created shows such as Sky’s In The Long Run, which is inspired by his own experiences.
“Idris is one of Britain’s best known actors in the UK and internationally with a long and successful career on-screen, and an accomplished director, producer and writer,” said BAFTA CEO Amanda Berry. “He is also a driving force for championing diversity, ensuring talented people from all backgrounds achieve their potential.”
Elba added: “It’s a great privilege to be honoured with the BAFTA Special Award. It’s been a mission of mine to provide opportunity and access to emerging talent from diverse backgrounds in this industry, which is the same opportunity I received many years ago from open minded and diversity conscious casting.”
Past recipients of the BAFTA Special Award include Lenny Henry and Nicola Shindler.