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BAFTA to Honor ‘Harry Potter’ Films

Shut out at the Oscars, long-running series will receive award for contributions to British cinema

It remains to be seen if the Harry Potter saga will finally reap the rewards that have thus far eluded it at the Oscars, but the British Academy has already decided to start bestowing honors on the decade-long, top-grossing, eight-film series of films.

Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsThe Potter franchise, which concludes this summer with "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2," will receive the British Academy of Film and Television Arts' award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema, BAFTA announced on Thursday. The award will be given to author J.K. Rowling and producer David Heyman at the Orange British Academy Film Awards on February 13 in London.

The press release announcing the award lauded the Potter films as having "defined a decade of British filmmaking," and having "built a reputation for showcasing the wealth of British stage and screen acting talent."

The first seven films in the franchise, starting with "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" in 2001, have grossed more than $5.4 billion worldwide.

The Potter films have received nine Oscar nominations, including two this year. They have never won.

The Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award was created by BAFTA in 1978 and has gone to the likes of Mike Leigh, Kenneth Branagh, Kevin Brownlow, Derek Jarman and the Pinewood & Shepperton Studios.

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