Now in its fourth year, exclusively at Palace Cinemas, the BBC First British Film Festival is thrilled to announce highlights from the 2016 program. With a spread of international award‐winners, crowd favourites, and Australian premieres, this year's films feature a star‐studded line up of cinematic delights that dive directly into British culture, humour, and traditions, signalling this year's festival as the biggest one yet.
The festival will open with the Australian premiere of Amma Asante's period drama A United Kingdom, which comes straight from its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and opening the 60th BFI London Film Festival. Starring David Oyelowo (Selma) and Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) A United Kingdom is based on the book Colour Bar by Susan Williams, based on the true story of young Prince Seretse Khama of Botswana (Oyelowo), who caused an international scandal when he married a white Englishwoman (Pike) in 1948.
The festival will close with A Monster Calls, based on the acclaimed book by Patrick Ness and starring Britain's Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), newcomer Lewis MacDougall, and Liam Neeson (Schindler's List) as the voice of the monster. This is a visually spectacular film about a young boy who delves into a world of fantasy, imagination and monsters to deal with the reality of his mother's terminal illness.
I, Daniel Blake, the highly anticipated, Palme d'Or‐winning new film from acclaimed British director Ken Loach is also a program highlight. Showcasing the director's signature style, the film is a complex exploration of socio-economic issues in Britain, telling the story of 59‐year‐old carpenter Daniel, who after working as a joiner for most of his life in Newcastle injures himself and requires help from the state. He befriends Katie, a single mother with two young children, and the two form a mutually beneficial alliance.
Also straight from this year's BFI London Film Festival comes Trespass Against Us, the narrative debut feature from up‐and‐coming British director Adam Smith, a thrilling crime‐drama starring Michael Fassbender (The Light Between Oceans, Steve Jobs) and Brendan Gleeson (Gangs of New York, Calvary); and Their Finest, a romantic comedy from director Lone Scherfig (An Education), featuring a star‐studded cast of British talent including Gemma Arterton (Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time), Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games series) and Bill Nighy (Love Actually).
Also announcing Tommy's Honour, directed by Jason Connery, the film explores the complex dynamic between a father and son, telling the historical tale of Scottish champions and real--‐life founders of the modern game of golf Tom Morris and his son, Tommy Morris.
This year's retrospective, Local Heroes, includes 10 films that are a specially curated ode to some of Britain's cinematic heroes. The retrospective will feature a number of classic restorations, with titles including: Room At The Top (1959), Highlander (1986), The Man Who Fell From Earth (1976), Sid and Nancy (1986), and rounding out the restored titles we have box office heroes Carry On Camping (1969) and Carry On Up The Khyber (1968) – these two films are part of the -Carry On' franchise films, which went on to be the most successful British comedy film series of all time.
This is just a selection of the titles from the 2016 BBC First British Film Festival program. The full program will be announced in late September.
The festival will take place nationally from late October in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, and Brisbane.
NSW Tues 25 Oct – Wed 16 Nov Palace Verona, Palace Norton Street
VIC Wed 26 Oct – Wed 16 Nov Palace Cinema Como, Palace Balwyn and Palace Brighton Bay and The Astor
SA Thurs 3 Nov – Wed 23 Nov Palace Nova Eastend
WA Thurs 27 Oct – Wed 16 Nov Cinema Paradiso, Luna on SX and The Windsor
ACT Thurs 25 Oct – Wed 16 Nov Palace Electric
QLD Thurs 27 Oct– Wed 16 Nov Palace Barracks
For updates and more information, visit www.britishfilmfestival.com.au