Filmmaker Alan Parker to receive Britain's highest film honor

British film director Alan Parker looks through a cinema door window prior to meeting the media in Prague on March 28, 2008. AP

Alan Parker, the lauded British director whose work includes "Midnight Express," ''Fame" and "Mississippi Burning," is to receive the British Academy Film Awards' highest honor.

The academy announced Wednesday that the 68-year-old will collect the BAFTA Fellowship at a London ceremony next month. While known for being outspoken, Parker says he'll be "gracious and thankful" on the big night, rather than political.

He tells The Associated Press, "you always worry, does that mean the end of my career, when you get this kind of thing -- but it's very nice."

The BAFTA winner and Oscar nominee's other films include "Bugsy Malone," "Angela's Ashes," ''The Commitments" and "Evita." His films have won 19 BAFTA honors, and in 2002, he was knighted for services to the British film industry.

Previous fellowship recipients include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock and Elizabeth Taylor.