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Dunkirk and Dark Knight director says receiving CBE a ‘tremendous thrill’

Christopher Nolan was awarded a CBE at Buckingham Palace on Thursday.

Director Christopher Nolan after he was made a Commander of the British Empire (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Director Christopher Nolan after he was made a Commander of the British Empire (Andrew Matthews/PA)

By Tom Horton, PA

Christopher Nolan, who directed blockbuster films including Dark Knight and Dunkirk, has said that being awared a CBE at Buckingham Palace was a “tremendous thrill”.

After being presented with the honour for services to film, he added that he was pleased to see his art form get public recognition from outside the industry.

Nolan said: “As a passionate advocate of film and the importance of film culturally, it is really thrilling to me that film would be honoured in this way and is considered worthy of this kind of honour.

“I think film is one of the great collective pastimes, one of the great art forms.

“It is lovely to see it accorded this kind of status.”

Mr Nolan’s long list of blockbusters include the Batman trilogy, Interstellar and Inception and his filmography is estimated to have grossed a total of 4.7 billion dollars (£4.2 billion) worldwide.

The 49-year-old said that he was able to discuss his work with the Duke of Cambridge before he presented the award at Buckingham Palace on Thursday.

Nolan said: “He spoke of his love of film and asked if I was working on something new and I was able to tell him that I had just finished filming something and I’ve started to edit it.”

He said he is “feeling excited” about the project, adding: “I enjoy editing and that’s the part of the process I’m in now. It’s the fun part.”

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Christopher Nolan with his cast and team behind Dunkirk (Ian West/PA)

Mr Nolan’s new film Tenet is due to arrive in cinemas next year. 

A trailer, released on Thursday, features John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Sir Michael Caine and Sir Kenneth Branagh.

The clip ends with the tagline Time Runs Out, followed by the date July 2020, when the film will be released in cinemas.

Nolan was born in London to a British father and an American mother.

He studied English at University College London (UCL) and chose the school because of its filmmaking facilities.

While at UCL, Mr Nolan was president of the film society and produced short films while studying.

It is also where he met his future wife, Emma Thomas, with whom he has four children and runs a production company, Syncopy.

Nolan said he was joined by his family for the ceremony, adding: “Their reaction coming was of tremendous excitement and I think it’s a big thrill for them to come here to Buckingham Palace and to see all of this.”

Other people honoured at the investiture ceremony include best-selling author Joanna Trollope, who was made CBE for services to literature, and comic actor Griff Rhys Jones, who was made OBE for services to entertainment and for charity.

PA

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