Kristin Scott Thomas will receive a special honour at the British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs).

The 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' star will receive the Richard Harris Award for her outstanding contribution to British film. The ceremony will take place at the Old Billingsgate in London on December 1.

Kristin, 59, told Variety: ''To be recognised in memory of the great and unequalled Richard Harris is very special, and a true honour.

''I am proud beyond measure to be receiving this award and joining the ranks of many famously and undeniably brilliant and talented actors.''

Previous recipients of the award, which is named after the late 'Gladiator' actor, include Judi Dench, Daniel Day-Lewis and Emma Thompson.

Harris' son, 'Chernobyl' star Jared, said that Kristin ''richly deserved'' the award.

He said: ''Kristin Scott Thomas has created many memorable characters in iconic British films. Whether she is making us laugh, cry our shake in our shoes, it is always in that inimitable Kristin Scott Thomas way. The Richard Harris Award at this year's BIFAs is richly deserved.''

Kristin has received three BIFA nominations during her career, for her roles in 'Easy Virtue', 'Nowhere Boy' and 'The Invisible Woman'.

Meanwhile, Kristin has moved behind the camera to direct her first film, 'The Sea Change' and admitted the process was frustrating.

She said: ''It's very, very frustrating. You have to have nerves of steel. [It took so long that it] became a bit of a joke - 'Kristin's directing this film,' ha ha. It's a life's work.''

Kristen, 58, admitted her own experience has given her a new appreciation for her Oscar-winning movie 'The English Patient', which was adapted from Michael Ondaatje's novel.

She said: ''Now I know how difficult it is to do an adaptation of a brilliant novel. The adaptation of 'The English Patient' is just so beautiful - it's like a cousin, it flows alongside the book.''