Wheatley, who began his career as a short filmmaker and animator, made his feature debut with “Down Terrace” in 2009, and has become an international festival staple with his critically acclaimed follow-ups “Kill List,” “Sightseers” and “A Field in England.”
He will receive his award after an onstage interview about his career conducted by journalist Damon Wise.
Wheatley said: “Attending FrightFest is like being plugged into the brain of genre cinema. A true group experience. Over a thousand serious fans praying at the altar of horror then spilling out into the foyer to digest what they have just seen before diving back for more…it’s great.”
Alberto Lopez, international director, Variety, added: “All of us at Variety are very pleased to continue our collaboration with FrightFest this year as we acknowledge and award Ben Wheatley’s fresh and fearless contribution to genre cinema. Ben’s boundless energy for filmmaking, coupled with a striking, confident ability to push the envelope, has made him one of the U.K.’s most prolific and in-demand storytellers of recent times, and a natural choice for us to spotlight at Frightfest.”
FrightFest runs Aug. 22-26 at the Empire Cinema in London’s Leicester Square.