THE 2020 BRITISH FILM FESTIVAL TO OPEN WITH
NOËL COWARD’S ‘BLITHE SPIRIT’
Presented by Palace, the British Film Festival will open on 10 November with a riotous reimagining of Noël Coward’s classic comedy BLITHE SPIRIT starring Dan Stevens, Isla Fisher, Dame Judi Dench and Leslie Mann. Opening night receptions around the country will see guests enjoy Bulldog London Dry Gin & Tonics, Eton Mess choc-tops and live 1930’s swing music.
The British Film Festival will again celebrate the filmmakers, acting talent and stories from the British Isles with a programme featuring the most anticipated films of the year. Screening from early November in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and Byron Bay at reduced capacity and November in Melbourne, when restrictions permit.
Featuring 22 films – from powerful true stories and literary adaptations to biographies, comedies and documentaries – tickets to the 2020 festival are now on sale.
Here is the 2020 British Film Festival programme!
A strong focus on females both on and off screen this Festival sees the following eight films leading the way.
The charming Irish crowd-pleaser, A BUMP ALONG THE WAY directed by Shelly Love with an all-female creative team – the film follows a boozy 44-year-old single mother who falls pregnant from a one-night-stand, much to the shame of her buttoned-up teen daughter.
Gripping historical drama, A CALL TO SPY which follows a new British spy agency at the dawn of WWII, which is ordered by Churchill to recruit and train women as spies.
Having just debuted in the UK to rave reviews, AMMONITE from writer/director Francis Lee is set in 1840s England and stars Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan as a paleontology pioneer and a young woman and the story of their forbidden love.
On an isolated farm in 17th-century Shropshire, a woman learns to transcend her oppressive marriage when a young couple on the run disrupts the family’s Puritan existence. A gripping folk-horror thriller, director Thomas Clay’s third feature FANNY LYE DELIVER’D is a potent brew of sex, violence, and political radicalism, featuring a fierce lead performance from Maxine Peake.
Keira Knightley and Jessie Buckley star in the charming and farcical comedy MISBEHAVIOUR about true story feminist protesters who disrupted the 1970 Miss World beauty competition in London.
THE WARRIOR QUEEN OF JHANSI is the incredible true story of Lakshmibai, the historic Queen of Jhansi who fiercely led her army against the British East India Company in the infamous mutiny of 1857. Lakshmibai is played by Devika Bhise, who co-wrote the film with director Swati Bhise, her mother.
A discovery at a school for the daughters of the Nazi elite leads to a series of deadly events in true story war drama, SIX MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT starring Eddie Izzard and Dame Judi Dench.
And SUMMERLAND, a romantic drama set in World War II and starring Gemma Arterton as an English woman who opens her heart to an evacuee in a touching story of love and friendship.
Audiences can rock out with two extraordinary MUSIC DOCUMENTARIES:
ROCKFIELD: THE STUDIO ON THE FARM, celebrating the legendary recording studio in the Welsh countryside where Ozzy Osbourne, Oasis, Queen and Coldplay took off – featuring interviews with the who’s who of the UKs music scene. And WHITE RIOT, a lively documentary that explores how punk influenced politics in late-1970s Britain when a group of artists united to take on the National Front with the Rock Against Racism movement.
Of course there are strong British DRAMAS too. From its world premiere at Sundance Film Festival, dramatic thriller THE NEST featuring Jude Law and Carrie Coon, sees life for the British entrepreneur and his American family begin to take a twisted turn after moving into an English country manor.
Based on a true story and starring Joanne Froggatt, STARFISH is an astonishing tale of survival and domestic struggle, that follows a couple whose love is pushed to its limit after their perfect life falls apart when one develops sepsis.
THE RACER follows a seasoned support rider who experiences the most dramatic three days of his professional riding life during the 1998 Tour de France.
And in A GIFT FROM BOB, a stray ginger cat named Bob provides friendship and strength to a homeless London street musician over Christmas, in a sequel to 2016 crowd-pleaser A Street Cat Named Bob.
If comedy is on your wishlist, the Festival selection will not disappoint:
DAYS OF THE BAGNOLD SUMMER follows a teenage heavy metal fan who spends the summer trying to get along with his librarian mother in a charming directorial debut from The Inbetweeners star Simon Bird.
In KAT AND THE BAND, BAFTA nominee Ella Hunt plays a teenage girl who tricks her way into managing a struggling band by pretending to be a manager in her twenties in this feel-good coming-of-age tale.
A poignant and darkly funny coming-of-age story of dysfunctional family life in 1980s rural England, THE MORE YOU IGNORE ME is based on the acclaimed novel by Jo Brand and stars Brand alongside Mark Addy, Sheridan Smith and Sally Phillips.
And THEN CAME YOU stars Kathie Lee Gifford as a lonely widow who plans a trip around the world with her husband’s ashes, to visit their favourite movie locations, but the first stop will change her life forever.
RESTORED CLASSICS this year include: THE ELEPHANT MAN, an unforgettable story of dignity and survival, will screen in stunning 4K restoration to celebrate its 40th anniversary; also filmed in 1980, FLASH GORDON, adapted by Lorenzo Semple Jr and Michael Allin from the 1930s comic-strip serial; and classic comedy THE LADYKILLERS starring Sir Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers, celebrates its 65th anniversary and will be presented in a 4K restoration with Technicolor.
For updates and more information, visit www.britishfilmfestival.com.au
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