Director Sir Alan Parker, whose movies have included Evita and Midnight Express, is to be recognised with an honorary award at next month's Bafta Film Awards.
The 68-year-old, who was the founding chairman of the UK Film Council, will be awarded the Bafta Fellowship for his "outstanding and exceptional contribution to film".
Other figures who have been given Bafta's highest accolade over the years include Dame Judi Dench and Vanessa Redgrave, with Martin Scorsese collecting it last year.
Sir Alan made his first feature film as a director and writer in 1976 with children's gangster musical Bugsy Malone. The hard-hitting Midnight Express - about the experiences of an American student in a Turkish prison - followed in 1978, winning a best director Bafta.
His varied career has also included Pink Floyd film The Wall, Mississippi Burning, Birdy and, most recently, The Life Of David Gale, starring Kevin Spacey and Kate Winslet.
Sir Alan said: "When you make your first film, you're sure it will be your last. And then you squeeze your eyes together and suddenly, 40 years later, you're at Bafta getting an award like this.
"I'm of course enormously flattered and honoured."
Sir Alan will be presented with the Academy Fellowship at the EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony at London's Royal Opera House on February 10. He has previously been presented with Bafta Awards for outstanding British contribution to cinema, among his many awards.
John Willis, chairman of the Academy, said: "Sir Alan Parker is a hugely distinctive film-maker, and a man of uncompromising vision and personality.
"It's almost impossible to highlight any one moment of his career, but the incredible 19 Baftas his films have won indicate the esteem in which he is held by his peers, as well as the outstanding nature of his work."