In its year as city of culture, a unique honour from Hull for Anthony Minghella

Juliette Binoche in Anthony Minghella's The English Patient
Juliette Binoche in Anthony Minghella's The English Patient
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HE CARVED out a glittering career in Hollywood which was responsible for some of the most critically-acclaimed films of recent years before his life was tragically cut short at the age of just 54.

And the Yorkshire city where Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella embarked on his fledgling career will stage a retrospective of his work as part of a much-anticipated celebration of the arts which will span the next 12 months.

Organisers of Hull UK City of Culture 2017, which launches at the start of January, yesterday confirmed full details for a series of film screenings and events to look back at the talents of Minghella.

Renowned for films including The Talented Mr Ripley, The English Patient and Cold Mountain, which are all being shown as part of the retrospective, the Hollywood director was a student and lecturer at University of Hull in the 1970s and 1980s before he went on to become the chairman of the British Film Institute.

Martin Green, the CEO and the director of Hull 2017, said: “People may not be aware of Hull’s place in British cinema and 2017 is an opportunity to remedy that. We are thrilled to be working with the university, BFI and Film Hub North to bring this celebration of the life and work of Anthony Minghella, one of Britain’s film-making greats.

“It will help kick off a series of events throughout the year, bringing a range of international films and also showcasing Hull’s role in this important and ever popular artform.”

Screenings will be accompanied by live discussions, script readings, music and performance at events led by former colleagues to explore the career and legacy of Minghella, who died in 2008, as a director, film and television producer and playwright.

A display of rare materials taken from Hull History Centre’s Minghella archive will include personal items from his time as a university staff member, such as the script of his break-through play, Whale Music. Early work in British television and producing children’s programming, comedy, drama and artistic shorts before Minghella moved onto full-length feature films will also be shown.

While he was responsible for a succession of hugely popular films, the high point of Minghella’s career came in 1997 when he won the Academy Award for Best Director for The English Patient.

Anthony Minghella: A Retrospective is part of Transformative Film Culture for Hull, a major programme planned by the UK City of Culture organisers with the University of Hull and backed by the BFI and the BFI Film Hub North.

Professor Glenn Burgess, the Acting Vice-Chancellor at the University of Hull, said: “As an alumnus and former lecturer, Anthony Minghella is a great example of the university’s contribution to creativity. We are proud to be part of and host a tribute to Anthony and his significant contribution to film as part of the Hull UK City of Culture celebrations.”

Father-of-two Minghella, who was born on the Isle of Wight, died on March 18, 2008, in Charing Cross Hospital in London, following an operation as he battled cancer.

Tickets for Anthony Minghella: A Retrospective are priced between £5 and £7 and went on sale yesterday.