Fernando Meirelles in Bradford International Film Festival (UK)

20/03/2010 at 6:06 pm Leave a comment

Running over a period of 11 days from today until Sunday March 28, the 16th Bradford International Film Festival will feature premieres, special guests and an array of documentaries, shorts, retrospectives and tribute

This year, following in the footsteps of Ken Loach and Sir Richard Attenborough, actor John Hurt, best known for his roles as Kane in the 1979 classic sci-fi shocker Alien and John Merrick in the 1980 movie The Elephant Man, will be present to accept the BIFF 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award.

As part of a celebration of his work, he will be taking part in a live ‘screen talk’ and hosting a retrospective of his work. Ridley Scott’s Alien, David Lynch’s The Elephant Man, 1984 and Scandal are just some of the movies to be screened during the festival in honour of his fantastic career.

Award-winning actress Imelda Staunton will also be making a guest appearance during this year’s festival and taking part in a screen talk discussing her varied but successful career. The Academy Award-nominated Vera Drake, for which she won a Best Actress Bafta in 2005, will also be screened.

Adding an international flavour to the festival will be talented director Fernando Meirelles. He will be participating in a live interview to support the screenings of his English language films The Constant Gardener, starring Ralph Fiennes, Blindness with Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo, as well as the brilliant Brazilian epic City of God.

A new aspect introduced to this year’s proceedings is the introduction of 10 satellite venues. Cineworld Bradford, the Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds, Victoria Hall in Saltaire and Pocklington Arts Centre in York are just some of the venues that will be showcasing their own exclusive movies as part of BIFF, ensuring that this year’s event is more expansive than ever and justifying Bradford’s status as the world’s inaugural Unesco City of Film.


Perrier’s Bounty, directed by Ian Fitzgibbon and written by Mark O’Rowe, will be given its UK premiere in the opening night gala. The film stars Cillian Murphy (28 Days Later, Sunshine), Jim Broadbent (Bridget Jones’s Diary, Hot Fuzz) and Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges, Cold Mountain) and centres on a young layabout who finds himself on the run with a bounty on his head with his estranged father and his neighbour after accidentally killing one of Perrier’s henchmen.

Reminiscent of In Bruges, this comedy-thriller looks likely to set the tone for the quality of films throughout this year’s festival.

The closing night gala features the ‘world digital premiere’ of Lionel Jefferies’ The Railway Children, starring Jenny Agutter, Bernard Cribbins and Sally Thomsett. The stars themselves are set to be guests for an evening celebrating the 40th anniversary of this well-loved British movie.

The festival’s celebration of film will be giving audiences an insight into new Canadian cinema, the US indie circuit, the importance of the short film and, of course, previews and premieres of the new cinema from countries around the world including France, Iran, Germany and Mexico.

For further details visit www.nationalmediamuseum.org.uk/Biff/10/index.asp

Six movies to watch out for…

Bad Lieutenant – Port of Call: New Orleans

No, not the notorious Abel Ferrara film starring Harvey Keitel, but Werner Herzog’s new take on the cocaine-snorting, dope-smoking, corrupt cop. Nicolas Cage stars as troubled lawman Terence McDonagh, investigating the murder of Senagalese immigrants whilst trying to deal with the vices that are making his life almost impossible. Co-starring the beautiful Eva Mendes (Hitch) and Val Kilmer (Heat), this has all the hallmarks of a unique and memorable film.

The Calling

Directed by Jan Dunn (Ruby Blue), this film tells the story of nuns whose lives are turned on their heads by the arrival of Joanna (Emily Beecham), a university student who leaves her course to follow the calling she has felt since being a child. With a cast comprising Brenda Blethyn (secrets and Lies), Susannah York (The Killing Of Sister George), Amanda Donohoe (Castaway) and Rita Tushingham (A Taste Of Honey), this is sure to be a riveting and wonderfully performed movie.

Four Lions

Directed by ever-controversial Chris Morris and starring the brilliant Riz Ahmed (Shifty), new comedy Four Lions follows four young jihadists who set out to kill for their extremist cause, but discover that they’re just too stupid to be successful terrorists. Expect edgy satire and lots of uncomfortable humour from the man behind Brass Eye.

No-one Knows About Persian Cats

This is a little gem from Iran about musicians Negar and Ashkan who decide to form their mini-uprising against the traditionalists and create an indie band so as to realise their ambition – to play in gigs all around Europe. At times feeling like a mini music videos sewn together and others like a docu-drama, No-one Knows About Persian Cats is an ambitious and entertaining attempt to highlight the struggles of young people in Iran.

Valhalla Rising

Best-known as Bond baddie Le Chiffre in Casino Royale, Mads Mikklesen stars as a supernatural warrior One-Eye who, on escaping from captivity, finds his long journey home is overshadowed with war and bloodshed. Expect uncompromising, brutal violence and an overdose of blood-splattered bodies.

Crying With Laughter

This is Justin’s Molotnikov’s debut feature film centred on the stand-up comedy scene. At a quick glance the first thought is Judd Apatow’s overly long and ironically, pretty much unfunny Funny People…but this is so much more. This is a dark, menacing thriller with great performances from the lead Stephen McCole (Rushmore) as stand-up comic Joey Frisk and Malcolm Shields (Hallam Foe) as Frank Archer. This is not to be missed.


Peruvian film Lucanamarca awarded in Cuban festival 20th Festival of African, Asian and Latin American Cinema Milan

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