Category:Empire Inspiration Award winners
Pages in category "Empire Inspiration Award winners"
The following 16 pages are in this category, out of 16 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 16 pages are in this category, out of 16 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Ron Howard – Ronald William Ron Howard is an American actor and filmmaker. Howard is best known for playing two roles in television sitcoms in his youth and directing a number of successful feature films later in his career. Howard first came to prominence playing young Opie Taylor in the sitcom The Andy Griffith Show for eight years, in 1980, Howard left Happy Days to focus on directing. His films include, the science-fiction/fantasy film Cocoon, the historical docudrama Apollo 13, the biographical drama A Beautiful Mind, in 2002, Howard narrated the Fox comedy series, Arrested Development, on which he would also serve as producer and play a semi-fictionalized version of himself. In 2003, Howard was awarded the National Medal of Arts, asteroid 12561 Howard is named after him. He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 2013, Howard has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions in the television and motion pictures industries. Howard was born in Duncan, Oklahoma, the son of Jean Speegle Howard, an actress, and Rance Howard, a director, a writer. He has German, English, Scottish, Irish, and Dutch ancestry and his father was born with the surname Beckenholdt, and had taken the stage name Howard by 1948, for his acting career. Rance Howard was serving three years in the United States Air Force at the time of Rons birth, the family moved to Hollywood in 1958, the year before the birth of his younger brother, Clint Howard. They rented a house on the south of the Desilu Studios. They lived in Hollywood for at least three years, before moving to Burbank, Howard was tutored at Desilu Studios in his younger years, and graduated from John Burroughs High School. He later attended the University of Southern Californias School of Cinematic Arts, Howard has said he knew from a young age he might want to go into directing thanks to his early experience as an actor. In 1959, Howard had his first credited role, in The Journey. Howard played Timmy in Counterfeit Gun, Season 4, Episode 2 of the TV series, in 1960, Howard was cast as Opie Taylor in The Andy Griffith Show. Credited as Ronny Howard, he portrayed the son of the character for all eight seasons of the show. He and Griffith remained close until Griffiths death nearly 45 years later, in the 1962 film version of The Music Man, Howard played Winthrop Paroo, the child with the lisp, the film starred Robert Preston and Shirley Jones. He also starred in the 1963 film The Courtship of Eddies Father and he appeared as Barry Stewart on The Eleventh Hour, in the episode Is Mr. Martian Coming Back. In the 1970s, he appeared in at least one episode of The Bold Ones, Howard appeared on the 1969 Disneyland Records album The Story and Song from the Haunted Mansion
2. Spike Lee – Shelton Jackson Spike Lee is an American film director, producer, writer, and actor. His production company,40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, has produced over 35 films since 1983, Lee has acted in ten of his own films. Lees movies have examined race relations, colorism in the community, the role of media in contemporary life, urban crime and poverty. Lee was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of Jacqueline Carroll, a teacher of arts and black literature, and William James Edward Lee III, a jazz musician and composer. Lee also had three younger siblings Joie, David, and Cinqué, who all worked in different positions in Lees films. Director Malcolm D. Lee is his cousin, when he was a child, the family moved to Brooklyn, New York. His mother nicknamed him Spike during his childhood and he attended John Dewey High School in Brooklyns Gravesend neighborhood. Lee enrolled in Morehouse College, a black college, where he made his first student film. He took film courses at Clark Atlanta University and graduated with a B. A. in mass communication from Morehouse and he did graduate work at New York Universitys Tisch School of the Arts, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts in film & television. In 1991, Lee taught a course at Harvard about filmmaking and it was there that he received his Master of Fine Arts and was appointed Artistic Director in 2002. Lees independent film, Joes Bed-Stuy Barbershop, We Cut Heads, was the first student film to be showcased in Lincoln Centers New Directors/New Films Festival, in 1985, Lee began work on his first feature film, Shes Gotta Have It. With a budget of $175,000, he shot the film in two weeks, when the film was released in 1986, it grossed over $7,000,000 at the U. S. box office. Lees 1989 film Do the Right Thing was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1989, many people, including Hollywoods Kim Basinger, believed that Do the Right Thing also deserved a Best Picture nomination. Driving Miss Daisy won Best Picture that year, after the 1990 release of Mo Better Blues, Lee was accused of antisemitism by the Anti-Defamation League and several film critics. They criticized the characters of the club owners Josh and Moe Flatbush, Lee denied the charge, explaining that he wrote those characters in order to depict how black artists struggled against exploitation. Lee said that Lew Wasserman, Sidney Sheinberg or Tom Pollock and he said he could not make an antisemitic film because Jews run Hollywood, and thats a fact. His 1997 documentary 4 Little Girls, about the killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham. On May 2,2007, the 50th San Francisco International Film Festival honored Spike Lee with the San Francisco Film Societys Directing Award and he received the 2008 Wexner Prize
3. Christopher Nolan – Christopher Edward Nolan is an English-American film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer and editor. He is one of the directors in history, and among the most successful. The acclaim garnered by his independent films gave Nolan the opportunity to make the thriller film Insomnia. His nine films have grossed over US$4.2 billion worldwide and garnered a total of 26 Oscar nominations, Nolan has co-written several of his films with his younger brother, Jonathan, and runs the production company Syncopy Inc. with his wife, Emma Thomas. Nolans films are rooted in philosophical, sociological and ethical concepts, exploring human morality, the construction of time, and his English father, Brendan James Nolan, was an advertising executive, and his American mother, Christina, worked as a flight attendant and an English teacher. His childhood was split between London and Evanston, Illinois, and he has both British and American citizenship and he has an older brother, Matthew Francis Nolan, a convicted criminal, and a younger brother, Jonathan. He began making films at age seven, borrowing his fathers Super 8 camera, growing up, Nolan was particularly influenced by Star Wars, and around the age of eight he made a stop motion animation homage called Space Wars. His uncle who worked at NASA, building systems for the Apollo rockets. I re-filmed them off the screen and cut them in, thinking no-one would notice, from the age of 11, he aspired to be a professional filmmaker. When Nolans family relocated to Chicago during his years, he started making films with Adrien. He has continued his collaboration with the brothers, receiving a credit for his assistance on their Oscar-nominated documentary Genghis Blues. Nolan also worked alongside Roko on documenting a safari across four African countries, Nolan was educated at Haileybury and Imperial Service College, an independent school in Hertford Heath, Hertfordshire, and later read English literature at University College London. He chose UCL specifically for its facilities, which comprised a Steenbeck editing suite and 16 mm film cameras. Nolan was president of the Unions Film Society, and with Emma Thomas he screened 35 mm feature films during the school year, during his college years, Nolan made two short films. The first was the surreal 8 mm Tarantella, which was shown on Image Union, the second was Larceny, filmed over a weekend in black and white with a limited cast, crew, and equipment. Funded by Nolan and shot with the equipment, it appeared at the Cambridge Film Festival in 1996 and is considered one of UCLs best shorts. After graduation, Nolan worked as a reader, camera operator. He also made a short, Doodlebug, about a man chasing an insect around a flat with a shoe
4. Pixar – Pixar, also referred to as Pixar Animation Studios, is an American computer animation film studio based in Emeryville, California that is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. Disney purchased Pixar in 2006 at a valuation of $7.4 billion, Pixar has produced seventeen feature films, beginning with Toy Story, which was the first-ever computer-animated feature film, and its most recent being Finding Dory. All 17 of its films have debuted with CinemaScore ratings of at least an A−, the studio has also produced several short films. As of October 2016, its films have earned approximately $10.8 billion at the box office worldwide. Fourteen of Pixars films are also among the 50 highest-grossing animated films of all time, the studio has earned sixteen Academy Awards, seven Golden Globe Awards, and eleven Grammy Awards, among many other awards and acknowledgments. Monsters, Inc. and Cars are the two films that were nominated for the award without winning it, while Cars 2, Monsters University, The Good Dinosaur. Up and Toy Story 3 were also the second and third animated films to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, the first being Walt Disney Animation Studios Beauty. Luxo Jr. a character from the studios 1986 short film of the name, is the studios mascot. The award was presented by Lucasfilms founder George Lucas, Schure kept pouring money into the computer graphics lab, an estimated $15 million, giving the group everything they desired and drove NYIT into serious financial troubles. During the following months, they resigned from CGL, found temporary jobs for about a year to avoid making Schure suspicious. He was then reunited with Alvy Ray Smith, who made the journey from NYIT to Lucasfilm. At NYIT, the researchers pioneered many of the CG foundation techniques—in particular the invention of the alpha channel, Years later, the CGL produced a few frames of an experimental film called The Works. In 1982, the team working on special effects film sequences with Industrial Light & Magic. In 1983, Nolan Bushnell founded a new computer-guided animation studio called Kadabrascope as a subsidiary of his Chuck E. Cheeses Pizza Time Theatres company, only one major project was made out of the new studio, an animated Christmas movie for NBC starring Chuck E. The animation movement would be made using Tweening instead of cel animation. After the North American Video Game Crash of 1983, Bushnell started selling some subsidiaries of PTT to keep the business afloat, sente Technologies would be sold to Bally Games and Kadabrascope would be sold to LucasFilm. The Kadabrascope assets s would be combined with the Computer Division of LucasFilm, PTT would later be sold to ShowBiz Pizza Place, a competitor, in 1985. Amongst the 38 remaining employees, there were also Malcolm Blanchard, David DiFrancesco, Ralph Guggenheim and Bill Reeves, Tom Duff, also an NYIT member, would later join Pixar after its formation
5. Andy Serkis – Andrew Clement Andy Serkis is an English film actor, director and author. Upcoming performance capture roles include Caesar in War for the Planet of the Apes, Supreme Leader Snoke in Star Wars, The Last Jedi, Serkis film work in motion capture has been critically acclaimed. He has received an Empire Award, and two Saturn Awards for his motion-capture acting, in 2015, he began playing Ulysses Klaue in the Marvel Cinematic Universe beginning with Avengers, Age of Ultron. Serkis has his own motion capture workshop, The Imaginarium Studios in London, Serkis was born and brought up in Ruislip Manor in Middlesex. His mother, Lylie, was English and taught disabled children and his father, Clement Serkis, was an Iraqi gynaecologist of Armenian ethnicity. His ancestors original surname was Sarkisian and his father often worked away in the Middle East, while Serkis and his siblings were raised in Britain, with regular holidays in the Middle East including to Tyre, Sidon, Damascus and Baghdad. Serkis was educated at St Benedicts School, Ealing, and then studied arts at Lancaster University. He chose theatre as a subject so that he could design posters. Serkis was a member of the County College and part of the student radio station Bailrigg FM and he joined the Nuffield Studio, getting involved in designing and producing plays. Having agreed to act in a couple of productions, towards the end of his first year Serkis played the role in Barrie Keeffes play Gotcha. In his third year at college, Serkis joined the team at the local Dukes Playhouse to earn his Equity card. Like many British actors, Serkis made the move to television by appearing in small roles, however, one of his first major starring roles was in the joint BBC/HBO production of Einstein and Eddington. Serkis played Albert Einstein, following the development of his theory of relativity, Serkis joined director Mike Leighs ensemble for two film productions, and appeared in the romantic comedy Loop alongside Susannah York. His work on The Lord of the Rings started a debate on the legitimacy of CGI-assisted acting, some critics felt Serkis should have been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, since his voice, body language, and facial expressions were used. There is the argument that his CGI actions were partially, or in some cases fully, animated without his movements, Serkis does appear briefly as Sméagol before he transforms into Gollum, and the CGI Gollums facial characteristics are fundamentally based on Serkis own. Serkis worked with game developers Ninja Theory on the 2007 release Heavenly Sword, providing the motion capture and voice for King Bohan and he has played 30 roles in film and television productions. He appeared alongside Sacha Baron Cohen in The Jolly Boys Last Stand, Serkis was cast as serial killer Ian Brady in the BAFTA-nominated Longford, co-starring Samantha Morton as Myra Hindley and Jim Broadbent as Lord Longford. The film was attacked by relatives of Bradys and Hindleys victims, in 2006, Serkis appeared in the role of Mr. Grin in the film rendition of Anthony Horowitzs Alex Rider novel Stormbreaker
6. Guillermo del Toro – Guillermo del Toro Gómez is a Mexican film director, screenwriter, producer, and novelist. He was originally chosen by Peter Jackson to direct The Hobbit films, Del Toros work is characterised by a strong connection to fairy tales and horror, with an effort to infuse visual or poetic beauty. He has a fascination with monsters, which he considers symbols of great power. He is also friends with fellow Mexican directors Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro González Iñárritu, Del Toro was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. He was raised in a strict Catholic household, Del Toro studied at the Centro de Investigación y Estudios Cinematográficos, in Guadalajara. When del Toro was about eight years old, he began experimenting with his fathers Super 8 camera, making films with Planet of the Apes toys. One short focused on a serial killer potato with ambitions of world domination, it murdered del Toros mother and brothers before stepping outside and being crushed by a car. Del Toro made about 10 short films before his first feature, including one titled Matilde and he also wrote four and directed five episodes of the cult series La Hora Marcada, along with other Mexican filmmakers such as Emmanuel Lubezki and Alfonso Cuarón. Del Toro studied special effects and make-up with special-effects artist Dick Smith and he spent 10 years as a special-effects make-up designer and formed his own company, Necropia. He also co-founded the Guadalajara International Film Festival, later in his directing career, he formed his own production company, the Tequila Gang. In 1997, at the age of 33, Guillermo was given a $30 million budget from Miramax Films to shoot another film, during this time, his father, automotive entrepreneur Federico del Toro, was kidnapped in Guadalajara. Although Federico was eventually released safely, due to economic pressure from his captors. The event prompted del Toro, his parents, and his siblings to move abroad, in an interview with Time magazine, he said this about the kidnapping of his father, Every day, every week, something happens that reminds me that I am an involuntary exile. These two films, The Devils Backbone and Pans Labyrinth, are among his most critically acclaimed works and they share similar settings, protagonists and themes with the 1973 Spanish film The Spirit of the Beehive, widely considered to be the finest Spanish film of the 1970s. Del Toro views the horror genre as political, explaining, Much like fairy tales. One is pro-institution, which is the most reprehensible type of tale, Dont wander into the woods. The other type of fairy tale is completely anarchic and antiestablishment and he is close friends with two other prominent and critically praised Mexican filmmakers Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro González Iñárritu. The three often influence each others directorial decisions, and have been interviewed together by Charlie Rose, Cuarón was one of the producers of Pans Labyrinth, while Iñárritu assisted in editing the film
7. Monty Python – Monty Python were a British surreal comedy group who created their sketch comedy show Monty Pythons Flying Circus, which first aired on the BBC in 1969. Forty-five episodes were made over four series, the Python phenomenon developed from the television series into something larger in scope and impact, including touring stage shows, films, numerous albums, several books, and a stage musical. The Pythons influence on comedy has been compared to the Beatles influence on music, the Orlando Sentinel referred to their sketch show as not only one of the more enduring icons of 1970s British popular culture, but also an important moment in the evolution of television comedy. Broadcast by the BBC between 1969 and 1974, Flying Circus was conceived, written, and performed by its members Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin. Loosely structured as a show, but with an innovative stream-of-consciousness approach, it pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable in style. Following their television work, they began making films, which include Holy Grail, Life of Brian, pythonesque has entered the English lexicon as a result. Jones and Palin met at Oxford University, where they performed together with the Oxford Revue, Chapman and Cleese met at Cambridge University. Idle was also at Cambridge, but started a year after Chapman, Cleese met Gilliam in New York City while on tour with the Cambridge University Footlights revue Cambridge Circus. Chapman, Cleese, and Idle were members of the Footlights, which at that also included the future Goodies. During Idles presidency of the club, feminist writer Germaine Greer and broadcaster Clive James were members, following the success of Do Not Adjust Your Set, a tea-time childrens programme, ITV offered Gilliam, Idle, Jones, and Palin their own late-night adult comedy series together. At the same time, Chapman and Cleese were offered a show by the BBC, Cleese was reluctant to do a two-man show for various reasons, including Chapmans supposedly difficult and erratic personality. Cleese had fond memories of working with Palin on How To Irritate People, much has been made of the fact that the Monty Python troupe is the result of Cleeses desire to work with Palin and the chance circumstances that brought the other four members into the fold. The Pythons had a idea about what they wanted to do with the series. They were admirers of the work of Peter Cook, Alan Bennett, Jonathan Miller, and Dudley Moore on Beyond the Fringe, and had worked on Frost and they enjoyed Cook and Moores sketch show Not Only. They decided that they would not bother to cap their sketches in the traditional manner. However, as they began assembling material for the show, the Pythons watched one of their heroes, Spike Milligan. Not only was the programme more irreverent and anarchic than any previous television comedy and it was clear that their new series would now seem less original, and Jones in particular became determined the Pythons should innovate. After much debate, Jones remembered an animation Gilliam had created for Do Not Adjust Your Set called Beware of the Elephants, Jones felt it would be a good concept to apply to the series, allowing sketches to blend into one another
8. Stephen Frears – Stephen Arthur Frears is an English film director. Frears has directed British films since the 1980s including My Beautiful Laundrette, Dangerous Liaisons, High Fidelity, The Queen, Philomena and he has been nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Director for The Grifters and The Queen. In 2008 The Telegraph named him among the most influential people in British culture, Frears was born in Leicester, England. His father, Russell E. Frears, was a practitioner and accountant. Frears was brought up Anglican, and did not find out that his mother was Jewish until he was in his late 20s, Frears later went on to study law at Trinity College, Cambridge, from 1960 to 1963. After graduating from Cambridge, Frears worked as an assistant director on the films Morgan and he spent most of his early directing career in television mainly for the BBC, but also for the commercial sector. In the late 1980s, Frears came to attention as a director of feature films. His directorial film debut was the detective spoof Gumshoe, but it was his direction of My Beautiful Laundrette that unexpectedly led to wider notice. In 1987, Frears worked with Adrian Edmondson on Mr Jolly Lives Next Door, for a 45-minute programme by cult ensemble The Comic Strip Presents, in 1985, Frears also directed a Comic Strip parody of Rebecca. The following year, Frears made Dangerous Liaisons in France, with a cast that included Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer. Based on the novel of romantic game playing, the film received numerous Academy Awards and BAFTA nominations, Frears had further critical success with his next film The Grifters, another tale of con-artists. The film earned Frears his first Academy Award nomination for best direction, in 2006, Frears directed The Queen, that depicts the death of Princess Diana on 31 August 1997. The Queen also achieved critical acclaim, box-office success. Frears himself received his second Academy Award nomination for best direction, Frears returned to directing for television with The Deal, which depicts an alleged deal between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown over which of them should become leader of the Labour Party in 1994. Frears has also directed two films based on novels by Roddy Doyle, The Snapper and The Van and he holds the David Lean Chair in Fiction Direction from the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield, where he teaches. His 1992 film Hero, starring Dustin Hoffman, was a box office disappointment. Frears was nominated for a Razzie Award for his direction of Mary Reilly and it stars Coogan and Judi Dench. His biopic of disgraced cycling champion Lance Armstrong The Program was premiered in the 2015 BFI London Film Festival, many of Frears films are based on stories of real life characters, but Frears has never met any of them
9. Ray Harryhausen – Raymond Frederick Ray Harryhausen was an American-British visual effects creator, writer, and producer who created a form of stop-motion model animation known as Dynamation. His last film was Clash of the Titans, after which he retired, Harryhausen moved to the United Kingdom, becoming a dual US-UK citizen and lived in London from 1960 until his death in 2013. Harryhausen was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Martha L. of German descent, the family surname was originally spelled Herrenhausen. The scenes utilising stop-motion animation, those featuring creatures on the island or Kong, were the work of pioneer model animator Willis OBrien and his work in King Kong inspired Harryhausen, and a friend arranged a meeting with OBrien for him. OBrien critiqued Harryhausens early models and urged him to take classes in graphic arts, meanwhile, Harryhausen became friends with an aspiring writer, Ray Bradbury, with similar enthusiasms. Bradbury and Harryhausen joined the Los Angeles-area Science Fiction League formed by Forrest J. Ackerman in 1939, during this time he also worked with composer Dimitri Tiomkin and Ted Geisel. Following the war he salvaged several rolls of discarded 16 mm surplus film from which he made a series of fairy tale-based shorts, One of Harryhausens most long-cherished dreams was to make H. G. Wells The War of the Worlds. It was part of a project to adapt the story using Wells original octopus concept for the Martians. In 1947 Harryhausen was hired as an assistant animator on what turned out to be his first major film, OBrien ended up concentrating on solving the various technical problems of the film, leaving most of the animation to Harryhausen. Their work won OBrien the Academy Award for Best Special Effects that year, the first film with Ray Harryhausen in full charge of technical effects was The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms which began development under the working title Monster From the Sea. Because the story for Harryhausens film featured a scene, the film studio bought the rights to Bradburys story to avoid any potential legal problems. Also, the title was changed to The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, under that title, it became Harryhausens first solo feature film effort, and a major international box-office hit for Warner Brothers. Then the film was rewound, and everything except the foreground element matted out so that the element would now photograph in the previously blacked out area. This created the effect that the model was sandwiched in between the two live action elements, right into the final live action scene. In most of Harryhausens films, model animated characters interact with, and are a part of, most of the effects shots in his earliest films were created via Harryhausens careful frame-by-frame control of the lighting of both the set and the projector. This dramatically reduced much of degradation common in the use of back-projection or the creation of dupe negatives via the use of an optical printer, by developing and executing most of this miniature work himself, Harryhausen saved money, while maintaining full technical control. A few years later, when Harryhausen began working with color film to make The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Rays producer/partner Charles H. Schneer coined the word Dynamation as a merchandising term. Only the complexities of Directors Guild rules in Hollywood prevented Harryhausen from being credited as the director of his films, throughout most of his career, Harryhausens work was a sort of family affair
10. Kenneth Branagh – Sir Kenneth Charles Branagh is a Northern Irish actor, director, producer, and screenwriter originally from Belfast. Branagh trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and he has directed or starred in several film adaptations of William Shakespeares plays, including Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, Hamlet, Loves Labours Lost, and As You Like It. He also narrated the BBC documentary miniseries Walking with Dinosaurs, Walking with Beasts, Branagh has been nominated for five Academy Awards, five Golden Globes, and has won three BAFTAs, and an Emmy. He was appointed a knight bachelor in the 2012 Birthday Honours and was knighted on 9 November 2012, at the age of nine, he moved with his family to Reading, Berkshire, to escape the Troubles. He was educated at Grove Primary School, Whiteknights Primary School, then Meadway School, Tilehurst, at school, he acquired Received Pronunciation to avoid bullying. On his identity today he has said, I feel Irish, I dont think you can take Belfast out of the boy, and he attributes his love of words to his Irish heritage. He is known to have attended the Reading Cine & Video Society as a member and was a member of Progress Theatre for whom he is now the patron. Branagh went on to train at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, Branagh was part of the new wave’ of actors to emerge from the Academy. Others included Jonathan Pryce, Juliet Stevenson, Alan Rickman, Anton Lesser, Bruce Payne, in 1984 he appeared in the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Henry V, directed by Adrian Noble. The production played to full houses, especially at the Barbican in London and it was this production that he adapted for the film version of the play in 1989. This Twelfth Night was later adapted for television, on the negative side, he has not got the magnetism of Olivier, nor the mellifluous voice quality of Gielgud nor the intelligence of Guinness. A year later in 1989 Branagh co-starred with Emma Thompson in the Renaissance revival of Look Back in Anger, Judi Dench directed both the theatre and television productions, presented first in Belfast then at the London Coliseum and Lyric Theatre. In 2002, Branagh starred at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield as Richard III, in 2003 he starred in the Royal National Theatres production of David Mamets Edmond. Branagh directed The Play What I Wrote in England in 2001, from September to November 2008, Branagh appeared at Wyndhams Theatre as the title character in the Donmar West End revival of Anton Chekhovs Ivanov in a new version by Tom Stoppard. His performance was lauded as the performance of the year by several critics and it won him the Critics Circle Theatre Award for Best Male Performance but did not get him a Laurence Olivier Award nomination, to the surprise of critics. In July 2013 he co-directed Macbeth at Manchester International Festival with Rob Ashford, with Branagh in the title role, Alex Kingston played Lady Macbeth and Ray Fearon featured as Macduff. The final performance of the sold out run, was broadcast to cinemas on 20 July as part of National Theatre Live. He repeated his performance and directorial duties opposite Ashford and Kingston when the production moved to New York Citys Park Avenue Armory in June 2014, the production marked his New York stage debut