Tilda Swinton is to receive the BFI Fellowship.

Tilda Swinton

Tilda Swinton

The 59-year-old actress has been chosen to be this year's recipient of the British Film Institute's highest honour in recognition of her contribution to "film culture, independent film exhibition and philanthropy" and for being a "daringly eclectic performer and filmmaker".

Tilda will be presented with the accolade at the BFI Chair's annual dinner, hosted by Josh Berger, on March 2.

Expressing her joy to be recognised for her work, Tilda said: "Fellowship and BFI are two of my favourite words ... and the beginning and end of the reason I live my life in the cinema in the first place. I share it entirely with my beloved filmmaking playmates, living and departed."

Explaining why Tilda had been chosen for the Fellowship, BFI Chair Berger said: "It is a career full of courageous artistic choices that has earned her the deep respect of her peers, our industry, and the admiration and enjoyment of audiences all over the world.

"Tilda inhabits the characters she portrays in the most compelling way. Her work is powerful and far ranging and as such occupies a unique place in our collective film history ... it captivates young filmmakers and actors, inspiring them to make bolder, braver and more profound work."

Tilda's filmography is an eclectic mix which has seen her win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as a ruthless lawyer in the 2007 film 'Michael Clayton', a role which also earned her a BAFTA.

Other notable performances came in Sally Potter's 1992 adaptation of Virginia Woolf's 'Orlando', Wes Anderson's 'The Grand Budapest Hotel', Lynne Ramsay's psychological thriller 'We Need to Talk About Kevin', the Coen brothers' 'Burn After Reading' and Luca Guadagnino's 2018 remake of supernatural horror 'Suspiria'.

Tilda has had major roles in mainstream movies such as playing the White Witch in 'The Chronicles of Narnia' series and the Ancient One in Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbusters 'Doctor Strange' and 'Avengers: Endgame'.

Tilda is the latest in a long-line of thespians to be made BFI Fellows, following in the footsteps of icons such as Vanessa Redgrave, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Maggie Smith, Martin Scorsese, Steve McQueen and Olivia Colman.