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| 17 October 2018 | Reply


Presented by Palace & Luna Palace Cinemas, the MINI British Film Festival is thrilled to announce the full 2018 program which boasts a sensational selection of the most eagerly awaited films of the year from the British Isles. Featuring a roll call of British cinema royalty as well a host of exciting new talent, this year’s British Film Festival program promises to delight and engage audiences.

The Australian premiere of COLETTE will open the festival. Keira Knightley stars as trailblazing French novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, whose provocative debut – falsely credited to her husband – becomes the toast of Paris in this mesmerising biopic, one of several films screening that depict the lives of literary figures.

Closing the festival this year is STAN & OLLIE, coming straight from its world premiere at the 62ndBFI London Film Festival. From BAFTA-winning screenwriter Jeff Pope (Philomena) and starring Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly, this is the truly funny and touching story of one of Hollywood’s greatest double acts: Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.

This year we pay tribute to British cinema titan Michael Caine with a suite of new and classic films starring the prolific actor who shows no sign of slowing down!

We present the Australian premieres of Caine’s latest films KING OF THIEVES and MY GENERATION. Caine leads an all-star cast including Jim Broadbent, Tom Courtenay, Michael Gambon and Ray Winstone in KING OF THIEVES, the darkly funny, incredible true story of the most daring heist in British criminal history.

Then in upbeat documentary MY GENERATION, Caine invites you into the world of his youth: the Swinging 60s where icons like The Beatles were originating London’s pop-culture scene. Produced and presented by Caine and sourced from over 1,600 hours of footage, extensive research and over 50 interviews with key players, MY GENERATION is an insider’s view of a defining era of cultural change.

Alongside MY GENERATION are two unforgettable Caine films from the era ALFIE(1966) and THE ITALIAN JOB(1969), together with screenings of three other essential films from that time, they comprise this year’s retrospective SWINGING SIXTIES: THE KNACK… AND HOW TO GET IT(1965); GEORGY GIRL(1966) and TO SIR, WITH LOVE (1967).

Another special retrospective presentation is THE DAM BUSTERS(1955). WWII is also depicted in SPITFIRE, a new documentary about the plucky fighter plane that took on the might of the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain through the first-hand accounts of the last surviving combat veterans. Narrated by Charles Dance.

Conflict at home and abroad is examined in two very different new films JOURNEY’S END and PETERLOO. From the director of The Duchess comes JOURNEY’S END, an emotionally-charged WWI drama adapted from R.C. Sherrif’s 1928 play as a group of British soldiers await their fate on the front line in the final months of the war. Stars Sam Claflin, Toby Jones and Paul Bettany.

While seven-time Oscar nominee Mike Leigh (Mr Turner) focuses his lens on a pivotal moment in British history in PETERLOO, a gritty and passionate account of the peaceful working class demonstration in 1819 Manchester that was violently supressed by police forces. Stars Rory Kinnear and Maxine Peake.

Every year the British Film Festival features new films starring some of cinema’s biggest names and 2018 is no exception.

In THE CHILDREN ACT Emma Thompson stars as a widely-admired judge facing a life changing decision on behalf of a young man refusing medical treatment. THE CHILDREN ACT also stars Stanley Tucci, Ben Chaplin and Fiona Whitehead and is directed by Richard Eyre (Notes on a Scandal).

RED JOAN, based on the life of British KGB agent Melita Norwood, stars Judi Dench and Sophie Cookson as Joan Stanley, one of the most influential spies in living history. From veteran British stage and screen director, Trevor Nunn.

Bill Nighy stars in SOMETIMES, ALWAYS, NEVER, a stylish comedy-drama about a Scrabble-obsessed tailor searching for his lost son. The feature debut for director Carl Hunter, SOMETIMES, ALWAYS, NEVER is written by Frank Cottrell-Boyce (The Railway Man, Goodbye Christopher Robin) and features Sam Riley, Alice Lowe, Jenny Agutter and Tim McInnerny.

Golden Globe award winning actor Idris Elba goes behind the camera with his directorial debut YARDIE. Setin ‘70s Jamaica and ‘80s London, YARDIE is the story of ‘D’ who embarks on an explosive quest for retribution following the death of his brother.

Complementing festival opener COLETTE are a trio of films that delve into artistic life and love.

Actor, director and writer Rupert Everett, in the role he was born to play, shines as Oscar Wilde in THE HAPPY PRINCE, which chronicles the great writer’s final years in exile in Naples and Paris, and co-stars Colin Firth, Emily Watson and Tom Wilkinson.

INTERLUDE IN PRAGUE, a handsome period drama based on true events, Aneurin Barnard (Dunkirk) portrays Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart during his incredible time in Prague, where he composed ‘Don Giovanni.’

Australian star Elizabeth Debicki (Breath, The Kettering Incident) plays literary icon Virginia Woolf in VITA AND VIRGINIA, the fascinating true story of the love affair between Woolf and socialite Vita Sackville-West (Gemma Arterton, Their Finest) in this sumptuous portrait which screens direct from its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Ahead of his star turn as Ned Kelly in the upcoming TRUE HISTORY OF THE KELLY GANG, young English actor George Mackay features in two films screening at the British Film Festival, OPHELIA and WHERE HANDS TOUCH.

In OPHELIA, Mackay plays Hamlet to Daisy Ridley’s (Star Wars, Murder on the Orient Express) Ophelia in this clever reshaping of Hamlet which sets Ophelia centre stage and reimagines Shakespeare’s play from her perspective. Directed by Australian Claire McCarthy (The Waiting City), OPHELIA also stars Naomi Watts, Clive Owen and Tom Felton.

From director Amma Asante (A United Kingdom) WHERE HANDS TOUCH is an impossible romance set in the most brutal of times: Germany, 1944, where a biracial teenage girl Leyna (Amanda Stenberg, The Hunger Games) and a Hitler Youth member Lutz (Mackay) fall in love. Abbie Cornish and Christopher Eccleston also feature in this affecting rites-of-passage survival tale.

Adolescence is also explored in two very different films. Filled with catchy tunes that will be stuck in your head for weeks, Scottish teen-zombie-musical-comedy ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE follows high schooler Anna who finds herself in the middle of a zombie invasion. While Debrorah Haywood’s acclaimed and singular debut, PIN CUSHION is a whimsical but utterly moving film about an eccentric mother and daughter who arrive to a new town desperate to start over.

This year’s ultimate feel-good British comedy, SWIMMING WITH MEN stars Rob Brydon stars as a man who finds a new lease on life after joining an amateur, all-male, synchronised swimming team. Featuring a fantastic support cast including Jim Carter, Jane Horrocks and Charlotte Riley, SWIMMING WITH MEN is directed by Oliver Parker (Dad’s Army, Johnny English Reborn).

Three-time BAFTA nominee Sylvia Syms (The Queen, Victim) stars opposite Peter Bowles (Victoria, To the Manor Born,Blow-Up) in TOGETHER, a riveting drama about an inseparable retired couple that are forced to live apart by social services. Inspired by real life stories of elderly couples caught up in the social services system, writer-director Paul Duddridge sheds light on the bureaucracy of the aged care system and how the wishes of older people are so often ignored.


The MINI British Film Festival presented by Palace & Luna Palace Cinemas takes place from October 25 – 14 November at Cinema Paradiso, Palace Raine Square, Luna on SX and The Windsor.

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