Bradford, 23rd February 2011 – At a press conference at the National Media Museum today, Artistic Director Tony Earnshaw announced the full programme details for the 17th Bradford International Film Festival (BIFF). This year the Festival, which runs from 16 – 27 March will open with Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger starring Anthony Hopkins, Naomi Watts, Antonio Banderas, Josh Brolin, Gemma Jones, Lucy Punch, Freida Pinto, Pauline Collins, Ewen Bremner and Anna Friel.
The Closing Night Gala will be the UK Premiere of Oren Moverman’s The Messenger starring Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton and Steve Buscemi.
The Festival will showcase more than 100 features from countries all over the world including France, Romania, Australia, USA, Argentina, Portugal and Japan.
A selection of horror films will be featured in the new strand introduced this year titled Bradford After Dark, an all-day mini “fest within a fest” that focuses on some of the freshest goriest and shocking horror films on the circuit. This new element is an exciting collaboration between BIFF and Celluloid Screams, Sheffield’s Horror Film Festival. Films include the World premiere of Roadman, directed by Peter Leovic, Hobo with Shotgun starring Rutger Hauer, Mother’s Day directed by Darren Lynn (Saw II) Bousman, apocalyptic zombie shocker Stake Land directed by Jim Mickle, and Hammer’s Wake Wood directed by David Keating.
Uncharted States of America will return for the fifth year, bringing to audiences truly independent American cinema. The selection this year, as ever, will deliver edgy, risky and genuinely low-budget gems and will recognise the work some of the successful directors previously featured in the strand by showcasing their latest movies. Highlights include Aaron Katz’s Cold Weather, one of the most talked-about US independents of recent months, LiTTLEROCK from fellow “Uncharted” veteran Mike Ott and Putty Hill directed by Matt Porterfield.
Now in its 18th year, the ever popular Widescreen Weekend continues to welcome all those fans of large format and widescreen films – CinemaScope, VistaVision, 70mm, Cinerama and IMAX – and presents an array of past classics from the vaults of the National Media Museum. This year the work of Sir David Lean will be celebrated – thanks to the David Lean Foundation, three of his classics will be showcased: The Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago.
Moviedrome returns, offering an array of premieres and previews of new cinema from around the world. This year’s line-up includes Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams including a live satellite Q&A with Herzog, Oranges and Sunshine directed by Jim Loach, who will also be participating in a Screentalk Interview, 13 Assassins, directed by Takashi Miike, My Flesh My Blood, directed by Marcin Wrona and the UK Premiere of In The Shadows, directed by Thomas Arslan. Arslan, one of the rising stars of modern German cinema, will discuss his work in a Screentalk Interview, with a selection of his films being showcased during the Festival.
Along with Arslan, as previously announced, this year’s special guests attending BIFF will include maverick filmmaker Terry Gilliam and legendary actress Claire Bloom whose career has spanned 60 years. Both Gilliam’s and Ms. Bloom’s careers will be subject of a retrospective and Screentalk Interviews.
This year’s special events will include a screening of John. S. Robertson’s Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, starring the great John Barrymore, with live accompaniment on the Wurlitzer cinema organ by Richard Hills, and a screening of Cecil Hepworth’s Helen of Four Gates with piano accompaniment by Darius Battiwalla. The Festival will also be part of a nationwide satellite broadcast of Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein, live from the National Theatre. The films of Jim Henson will be on offer at two special Family Film Funday weekends, featuring four of Henson’s classic kids’ films: The Great Muppet Caper, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal and Muppet Treasure Island.
In celebration of Bradford’s status as the world’s first UNESCO City of Film, the Northern Showcase will provide an opportunity for audiences to see films made in their own back yard. Northern Showcase will host an array of independent productions from the North of England, drawing together writers, producers, directors and actors to discuss the challenges of making films and, crucially, getting them seen on completion. Cricket, directed by Daniel Austin, Innocent Crimes, directed by Jonathan Green and the UK premiere of The Last Days of Edgar Harding, directed by Stephen Fox will be among the films on offer.
For the thirteenth year BIFF will give emerging directors an opportunity to compete for The Shine Short Film Award. Introduced in 1998 to support innovation and originality this award goes to the best international short film selected from a shortlist by a jury of six. Competing this year from Europe is A Gentle Push directed by Philippe Verkinderen, A Good Life directed by Rowan Athale, The Long Lonely Walk, directed by Leon Chambers, Nowhere Elsewhere directed by Annick Blanc, Paperman directed by Richard Kelly and Victims of Gravity directed by Vlady Oszkiel.
Tony Earnshaw, Artistic Director Bradford International Film Festival said; “Once again, Bradford delivers another punchy line-up. I am delighted with the global spread of this year’s festival and with the array of guests whose work in cinema continues to enthrall. Festivals are all about discovery, and there is much for film buffs to discover – and re-discover – over the 12 days of the 17th annual Bradford International Film Festival.”
For further details on the programme, screening dates, venues, strands and guests please go to: www.nationalmediamuseum.org.uk/biff or call the box office 0844 856 3797
Since it began in 1995, Bradford International Film Festival has continued to be one of the outstanding events in the UK’s film calendar. This year, the National Media Museum will again be joined by satellite venues throughout Bradford and Yorkshire: Cineworld, Bradford; Otley Courthouse; Hyde Park Picture House, Leeds; Impressions Gallery, Bradford; Hebden Bridge Picture House and Victoria Hall, Saltaire.
The National Media Museum is the hub of the festival, where its unique facilities make it possible to present films in every format from 16mm, 35mm and 70mm to 3-strip Cinerama and IMAX 3D.
Bradford International Film Festival already welcomes thousands of visitors to the city each year. The added venues will again give even more people chance to experience its diverse programme.
Previous guests have included John Hurt, Imelda Staunton, Michael Palin, Virginia McKenna, Alan Bennett, Malcolm McDowell and Kenneth Branagh.
Bradford, City of Film
In June 2009 Bradford became the World’s first UNESCO City of Film. Bradford successfully bid for the title by showcasing its rich heritage in film production and its significant contribution to the film industry’s technical development; its inspirational film locations and its diverse society; its celebration of film and commitment to sharing understanding and enjoyment of film through the National Media Museum and the City’s annual film festivals.
With its designation as UNESCO’s only City of Film, Bradford will now be able to encourage more film makers and enthusiasts to come to Bradford and, in turn, boost the City’s local economy; build Bradford’s local and international profile and give the community and visitors an exciting and inspiring place to enjoy film. Bradford will also be able to and enhance people’s film making knowledge and develop their film making potential.
The UNESCO designation recognises Bradford City of Film’s aim to use the popularity and accessibility of film to all as a major tool for regeneration, cultural development and social inclusion.
The National Media Museum
The National Media Museum in Bradford, West Yorkshire, opened as the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television in Bradford in 1983, with a remit to explore the art and science of the image and image-making, and has since become one of the most visited UK museums outside London.
The Museum is devoted to film, photography, television, radio and the web and looks after the National Photography, Photographic Technology and Cinematography Collections. Its Television Collection incorporates an unrivalled collection of objects relating to the history and development of television, including John Logie Baird’s 1923 experimental apparatus.
The Museum organises three major film events every year – Bradford International Film Festival and Bradford Animation Festival and Fantastic Films Weekend. It also hosts three cinemas – Pictureville, Cubby Broccoli and the first IMAX screen in Europe. The Museum shows films in all of the major formats from Cinerama three-strip, to digital, to IMAX 3D.
Other attractions at the Museum include a host of galleries including permanent galleries Experience TV, a hands-on visitor experience about the history, present and past of television, featuring TV Heaven, the Kodak gallery charting the history of photography, the Animation gallery, and the Magic Factory for the young and young at heart. Learning activities for families and schools bring the Museum’s subject matter to life and there are regular cultural events for adults to complement the Museum’s changing programme.
For more information visit www.nationalmediamuseum.org.uk