Honoring Monty Python

The Monty Python Troupe in 1969 consisting of Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, John Cleese, and Michael Palin
The Monty Python team received a Special Award to honour their outstanding contribution to film and television at the official 40th Anniversary Reunion Event in New York City.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts presented the Monty Python team with a Special Award to honour their outstanding contribution to film and television at the official 40th Anniversary Monty Python Reunion Event in New York City on 15 October 2009.

The Special Award was presented at an event co-hosted by BAFTA and IFC (Independent Film Channel) to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the creation of Monty Python. John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin were all in attendance.

The Academy last honoured the Monty Python team in 1987 when they were presented with the Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema.

“I believe these trinkets are more important than people think,” said John Cleese.

David Parfitt, Chairman of BAFTA, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to co-host this event celebrating the 40th anniversary of the incomparable Monty Python. It promises to be a rare and memorable occasion bringing the hugely talented Monty Python team together again, and we feel that the Special Award is a fitting tribute to this much-loved and singularly British institution. I would like to thank in particular our colleagues at BAFTA East Coast for inspiring the event and our co-hosts, IFC.”

A new theatrical version of the IFC documentary Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyer’s Cut) was screened at the event, and the Pythons took part in a Q&A before receiving their Special Award at the end of the evening.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts supports, develops, and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public.

Special Awards are given in the Gift of the Academy’s Board of Trustees to recognise a significant contribution in film, television or video games. Previous recipients include Lord Attenborough, Dame Judi Dench, Carl Davies, Julie Walters, Billy Connolly, Jack Cardiff, Audrey Hepburn, Dame Maggie Smith, and Eon Productions to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of James Bond.