The festival, held in more than 20 cities across Russia, will be launched in the Formula Kino Gorizont cinema with Stephen Frears’ Victoria & Abdul, a biographical comedy-drama about the relationship between Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) and her young, Indian subject Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal).
All films will be shown in English with Russian subtitles.
For the full line-up of films and events as well as information about tickets, please visit the festival website www.ukfilms.ru/ru/2017.
This year’s programme features a record number of biographical films exploring the lives of legendary 20th century cultural icons from the UK. The line-up includes Goodbye Christopher Robin, plunging audiences into 1920s post-war Britain in a behind the scenes look at the life of A. A. Milne and the creation of Winnie the Pooh; England is Mine, a portrait of the singer Morrissey, before he formed The Smiths in 1970s Manchester; and Mad to Be Normal starring David Tennant as R. D. Laing, the maverick Scottish psychiatrist who revolutionised thinking about mental health treatment. Following Alberto Giacometti’s first major retrospective in the UK this year, the festival will also screen Final Portrait, transporting audiences to the sculptor’s chaotic studio.
Traditionally, the festival has championed auteur cinema, or films by directors with a signature style. In keeping with this tradition, this year’s line-up features a screen adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s novel My Cousin Rachel, starring Rachel Weisz and directed by Roger Michell (Notting Hill) as well as Frances Lee’s critically acclaimed God’s Own Country, dubbed by the BBC as “Britain’s answer to Brokeback Mountain”.
Other highlights include Eric Styles’ adaptation of That Good Night, featuring John Hurt’s final lead performance. Political thriller City of Tiny Lights stars Riz Ahmed, the first Asian, Muslim man to win an Emmy Award for acting, in the role of a private detective while drama Waiting for You sees Colin Morgan, famous for his lead role in BBC fantasy series Merlin, caught up in a disturbing family mystery.
The festival will close with Andy Serkis’s debut biographical drama Breathe, about Englishman Robin Cavendish who was paralysed by polio at the age of 28 and given weeks to live. Serkis is best-known for his roles in motion-capture films and previous credits include Gollum in The Lord of the Rings; King Kong in Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake; Caesar in the Planet of the Apes trilogy; and Supreme Leader Snoke in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.
The 28th New British Film Festival is part of the UK-Russia year of science and education 2017. To tie in with the programme, trade magazine Iskusstvo kino (“The Art of Cinema”) has curated a retrospective of iconic science fiction films from the UK.
New British Film festival Talks
The festival’s educational programme at the Moscow School of Film will also focus on science, exploring film technology, from the history of the camera and special effects to virtual and augmented reality. This year’s speakers include film scholar Ian Christie; CEO and founder of Power to the Pixel Liz Rosenthal; production designer and director (Waiting for You) Charles Garrad and VR director and producer Darren Emerson.