The Mr. Turner moviemaker will be handed the prestigious Golden Eye trophy by festival bosses, who call Leigh "an important exponent of so-called New British Cinema" and "a genius of filmmaking".

Leigh will pick up the honour during a ceremony on 3 October (15) and he will also hold a public masterclass during the festival, which will screen a retrospective of his movies between 24 September (15) and 4 October (15).

Previous recipients of the lifetime achievement honour include John Malkovich, John Travolta and Helen Hunt.