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Upcoming British films and Festivals

BritishFlag.jpgThere's a lot to come for British Film this year, not only appearances at worldwide festivals and the superb UK based festivals, but there's the British films themselves, of which there are many.

Thanks to the BBC Film Network I present to you a list of some of the most interesting British Film releases to come this year as well as the dates of festivals that could be near you.

It's really a little interlude from the feature article since I haven't written one yet this week, so for half a week or so here's something in its place.

In that list are some big films such as Sunshine, Hannibal Rising, 28 Weeks Later, Stardust, and some very interesting films, like Straightheads and I Want Candy.

Have a look through the list and see what grabs your attention. I would direct you to the ones I've listed above as a start. Are there any I've missed that you're looking out for?

FILM: Notes On A Scandal
Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench star in the adaptation of Zöe Heller's novel.

FESTIVAL: 57th Berlin International Film Festival
Featuring the 300 premiere!

FILM: Goal! 2
The film moves from Newcastle to Madrid, and the Real Madrid team is all there.

FILM: Hannibal Rising
The book is dull and lifeless, I think the film might be too, and what's with Hannibal looking so weird?

FILM: Back In Business
British actors galore with Martin Kemp, Chris Barrie, Dennis Waterman, Brian Blessed, Joanna Taylor (Hollyoaks!) and more, in a Chris Munro written and directed film about conmen and the UK's space programme. It all sounds a bit odd and checking out the teaser trailer is a bit of an up and down journey. The first half looks poor, the middle where the con is explained looks a but better, but then...I don't think it ends up well.

New host, unfortunately, but a strong year for British talent.

FESTIVAL: Glasgow Film Festival
I'm hoping to attend a few films here, including The Good Shepherd and Scoop, as well as a few horrors too. That's horror films, not bad movies!

FILM: Hot Fuzz
Need I say anymore? This is perhaps the biggest British film of the year.

FILM: The Truth About Love
Brilliant, Dougray Scott has taken a break from voicing Orange commercials (he does have a rather soothing voice) and has returned to acting. Here he stars alongside Jennifer Love Hewitt and Mimi Mistry in a romantic comedy that was made in...2004?! Oh lord...keep doing the commercials then.

FESTIVAL: Dublin International Film Festival
This is the fifth year for the festival and I wish I had the time to go and neck Guinness between films...

AWARDS: The Oscars
Don't know what this is all about. Something important in the film industry they tell me...Jokes aside there's a big British outing this year, but will we manage to win anything?

FILM: The Good Night
Simon Pegg, Martin Freeman, Keith Allen, Penélope Cruz, Michael Gambon, Gwyneth Paltrow and Danny DeVito star in a romantic comedy written and directed by Jake Paltrow. Looks like a great cast. The story is about a former pop star who now writes commercial (or advert) jingles who is in the middle of a mid life crisis. His is quite unusual though, he's seeing the girl of his dreams in his day dreams, so he tries to continue the fantasy to get some pleasure out of life. Call me a sap, but I kinda like the idea, and isn't that cast exciting? Could this be a big hit?

FESTIVAL: Images Of Black Women Film Festival
A festival showing shorts and features from women of African descent both in front of and behind the camera. This is taking place at the London Tricycle Theatre.

FESTIVAL: Tampere International Short Film Festival
This festival is in Finland, I don't know where the BBC are going with this British Film list, perhaps it's because there are British films in competition? No matter, at least we're getting the festival listings too. This is a pure Short Film festival.

FESTIVAL: Bradford Film Festival
The 13th festival from Bradford.

FILM: Becoming Jane
Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy star in the Julian Jarrold directed film, which also features names such as Julie Walters, Maggie Smith and James Cromwell, which tells of the true life romance between Jane Austen and a young Irishman.

FILM: Gone
This is the latest film from Working Title and is a psychological thriller about a British couple heading through the Australian Outback who befriend a lone American (haven't they watched the movies?) who soon begins to play games with them and soon thinigs all get a little too creepy.

FILM: Popcorn
Starring two ex-soap stars Jack Ryder (Eastenders) and Jodi Albert (Hollyoaks) this film might just turn out to be a good laugh. It tells the story of Danny who can't pluck up the courage to ask out the girl of his dreams so he takes a job alongside her in the local cinema multiplex hoping to get close to her. Unfortunately the day he's joining is her last day. The projectionist becomes his guide and guru using his vast array of film knowledge.

FILM: Amazing Grace
Michael Apted's biographical film of the anti-slave campaigner William Wilberforce, you cna see the trailer on the official site linked above. The cast includes Albert Finney, Michael Gambon, Ioan Gruffudd, Ciarán Hinds and Rufus Sewell and has Gruffudd playing the idealist Wilberforce who manouvers his way through British Parliment until he finally manages to abolish slavery in the British Empire. Although why the Scottish pipe band are playing in the background at the end of the trailer I have no idea.

FILM: Fast Food Nation
Richard Linklater's adaptation of Eric Schlosser's book that we've heard so much about, with it's huge cast and big message, it's really something not to be missed. Yet I'm struggling to see the British connection here, ah, the BBC were one of the production companies behind it.

FILM: Catch A Fire
A political thriller from Working Title that tells the true story of a man who is falsely accused of terrorist activity, and when his life is destroyed because of the accusation and the resulting interrogations, he decides that maybe this is the course of action he should take. Directed by Phillip Noyce and starring Tim Robbins and Derek Luke, it sounds like very strong stuff.

FILM: I Want Candy
Two guys want to break into the film business and the only way they can think to is by making a porn film. Luckily they manage to get a major porn star involved in the form of Carmen Electra playing Candy FiveWays. Then things just go pear shaped from here on, mostly to do with filming it in their parents house and using local gang money. Oh my lord, I haven't laughed out loud like this in ages, you should see the trailer on the official site for a number of reasons, the Hugarian hygiene film, the pear, everyone backdoor, and Jimmy Carr's excellent closing line. This is a definite watch for me and might even go into my Filmstalker diary.

22nd - 1st April
FESTIVAL: Belfast Film Festival
The seventh year of the Belfast Film Festival. Oh lord...again I'm missing Guinness galore. I wonder if the fiancee fancies a holiday?

FILM: Mr Bean's Holiday
Oh no. Get off my site Mr Bean.

The Gigolos
The film is about a gigilo and his valet search for love and friendship in the London male escort business, and the site looks slick, the story about the aging gigilo working the over-50's market and being paid for sex while really looking for something deeper does have an interesting angle we might not have seen before.

FILM: Sunshine
This is looking to be such a fantastic film, let's hope it pays off. Danny Boyle directing an Alex Garland script with a cast of Chris Evans, Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Michelle Yeoh, Cliff Curtis, Troy Garity, Mark Strong, Hiroyuki Sanada and Benedict Wong. The sun is dying, and in order to save it a payload has to be delivered to its center to revitalise it. However the first mission has not been heard from and it simply disappeared. This is the second mission, and they must succeed.

FESTIVAL: East End Film Festival
Shorts and feature films are showcased from the East End of London. Danny Boyle may well take Sunshine to the festival, so watch out for that one.

FILM: Straightheads
Well I've been waiting for the site to load for ages and it doesn't look like it's going to happen. The film sounds really interesting, a middle class couple survive a brutal gang attack and then go on a violence spree themselves. It stars Gillian Anderson and Danny Dyer, a very interesting combination indeed.

25th - 6th May
FESTIVAL: Tribeca Film Festival
Another entry that must be here just because there are going to be a few British films there. It's the sixth outing for the festival championed by Robert De Niro, and well worth a visit.

FILM: Magicians
A British comic look at a modern day Prestige. Two rivalling magicians

FILM: This Is England
Shane Meadow's award winning drama is released to the public. The film looks at the skinheads and the culture of the 1983's in England. It begins with the group providing a belonging and understanding for Shaun who lost his father in the Falklands War, but soon another skinhead returns from prison and his racist and facist undertones begin to influence the group and make them turn in a different direction. It's supposed to be an excellent film that's really well handled.

The Welsh side of the BAFTA's announces its awards for TV and film.

FILM: 28 Weeks Later
The sequel to 28 Days Later but now with Juan Carlos Fresnadillo directing. I've been up and down on this, the plot idea sounds really strong, and the first teaser we saw looked okay, but it does turn into the same story again. My hope is they steer clear of that trap and give us something new.

FESTIVAL: Cannes Film Festival
The festival, without a doubt. I wish I could get an invite. Mind you there's no Guinness.

11th Jun
FESTIVAL: International Short Film Festival Hamburg
The twenty third year of the short film festival. Mmm....lovely beer!

FESTIVAL: Galway Film Fleadh
The nineteenth year of the festival for Irish talent that features shorts and full length films.

FESTIVAL: Cambridge Film Festival
The Gigolos gets it's official premiere. See the TBC section for more details of that film.

FILM: Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
Well the eagerly awaited next outing for Harry is here, and it promises to have more drama and suspense in it, I'm hoping that this is once again slightly darker and aimed more at an adult audience than before. However no naked Radcliffe!

28th - 3rd August
FESTIVAL: Rushes Soho Shorts
The ninth year of the short film festival. The festival isn't short, but the films are, and the bonus is it takes place throughout cinemas across the UK.

FESTIVAL: Edinburgh International Film Festival
See you there! With a few new faces behind the scenes it will be interesting to see if it can improve on last year's birthday of sixty years. If you are there, let me know, I'll be attending the lot and having a few drinks if there's time.

29th - 8th September
FESTIVAL: Venice International Film Festival
Now the fiancee and I have discussed attending this festival...or the Berlin, we're not sure yet. This is probably just as important as the Cannes Festival.

FILM: Atonement
Ian McEwan has been in the press a bit too much for this tale, but now it comes to the big screen with a nice British cast. Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Brenda Blethyn and Vanessa Redgrave are the big names. Aged thirteen, Briony accusses Robbie, played by McAvoy, of a terrible crime. Her sister Cecilia, played by Knightley, is the only one who doesn't believe her, and the accusation changes all their lives.

FESTIVAL: Toronto International Film Festival
The festival attended by a thousand blog sites. One of the top film festivals there is and one I would consider going to if there wasn't Edinburgh, Glasgow, Venice and Berlin to look at. I only have so many holidays and so much cash!

25th - 7th October
FESTIVAL: Raindance Festival
The fifteenth year of the London West End festival that looks at the British independent scene.

7th (TBC)
FESTIVAL: Dinard British Film Festival
The eighteenth year for the French festival.

17th - 1st November (TBC)
FESTIVAL: Times BFI London International Festival
Apparently, according to the BBC, this is the UK's biggest film festival by last years record attendance, and is now in its fifty first year. Well Edinburgh's is older at least.

FILM: Stardust
I'm really interested to see the direction that Matthew Vaughn takes on this film after the superb Layer Cake (Filmstalker review) and backing away from his X-Men 3. Now he's here with the film adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel which starrs Sienna Miller, Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jason Flemyng, Peter O'Toole, Rupert Everett, Ian McKellen, Dexter Fletcher and Mark Strong to name but a few of my favourites.

26th - 4th November
FESTIVAL: Kinofilm
A shorts film festival in Manchester.

The Scottish BAFTA's are announced for TV and film.

20th -25th
FESTIVAL: Encounters Short Film Festival
Apparently the UK's biggest festival of short films which is shown at Bristol's Watershed Cinema.

28th (TBC)
AWARDS: British Independent Film Awards
The tenth BIFA ceremony to announce the best of, well British Independent Film.

AWARDS: European Film Awards
Berlin hosts this years European Film Awards.


Other Films
Hallam Foe featuring Edinburgh and Jamie Bell
The All Together starring Martin Freeman
And When Did You Last See Your Father? with Colin Firth and Jim Broadbent
The Golden Age the sequel to Elizabeth
I Really Hate My Job with Neve Campbell
True North starring Sean Bean and Michelle Yeoh
The Other Boleyn Girl with Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman

For the complete list see the BBC's Film Network year preview.

Anything in that list that catches your eye?



Oh wow, youre absolutely right, there is so much stuff here and glossing over them is not enough. I am definitely digging this topic now after my post.

There's definitely loads of British stuff in films this year, as for the festivals, the closest in my neck of the woods apart from the Times BFI London International Festival (which I really should make a point in going and maybe filmstalkers based in London or in the surrounding area can meet up, you can join us to Richard!) will be the East End Film festival on April, so if I do get around to seeing some of the featured films in either of the 2 festivals, can I be your correspondent and maybe feature my cover here in the Filmstalker Richard?

As for films, the following are in my personal must-sees:

Notes on a Scandal - It's Dame Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett for crying out loud!

Hot Fuzz - Everytime I see most of the London buses that carry the posters to this film I dunno why but I end up giggling all the time, boy I can't wait!

Becoming Jane - I saw the trailer before watching Venus last night and I will see this film mainly because of James McAvoy, and because I love Jane Austen. I am still up in arms as to why they didnt cast a much more able and talented British actress to play Jane Austen, what a slap in the face to our homegrown talent here. No offense meant to Miss Hathaway. Isn't she way too pretty to play Jane? No offense to Miss Austen.

Amazing Grace - come on, just look at that stellar casting! Not to mention eherm, Ciaran Hinds!

Sunshine - it's science fiction right?

Magicians - Have you guys seen these 2 actors in the new Mac adverts? Would definitely like to see them in a full length film!

Atonement - Again, because of James McAvoy

Stardust - Another stellar casting and of course because of Peter O' Toole.

The Other Boleyn Girl - Now as much as I love both Natalie and Scarlett, (not to mention Bana playing King Henry VIII) I do believe that we are not wanting of British talent to play this roles, it's sad that if there's a Hollywood name attached to it, that's what will make them see this film.

Hallam Foe - Okay, because of Edinburgh and Ciaran Hinds. Isn't there another film that features the city of Edinburgh, Scotland (there!) that you mentioned here previously Richard? *Simone doing a FS Search and returns* That's it, A Woman in Winter.

The Golden Age - Another serving of Cate Blanchett's great talent.

Now, all I need to do is add the dates in my calendar, and synch them to my uber smartphone! Now, let's digg this.

Well Simone, there's a way to do it automatically.

CalendarHub is where I keep my upcoming schedule for film releases in the UK, it has a feed, if you have something like Outlook you can add that feed as a calendar, then synch your phone with your computer and it should take in the feed.

Have already been to see Venus and Notes on a Scandal from this list. Up next is Hot Fuzz this Thursday. YEAHHH!!!

Rich, you need to teach me how to do what you suggested above but I have to use the Outlook in my office as I dont have it in my home PC.

Are you staying in to watch the BAFTAs tomorrow night? It's one of those times I wished I owned a tv!

Ah, it might not work from the office, you should find out if whatever calendar system you use outside work can take an external feed, I think Google can.

I might well do. I'm off looking at wedding venues tomorrow!

Yeah I know, I have been following your wedding venues watch from your personal blog. Weekend 2, is it? :D


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