Bradford International Film Festival

Sally Potter, one of the UK’s most fascinating and inspirational directors, will be in Bradford on 30 March to receive a Fellowship Award, as part of the 20th edition of the Bradford International Film Festival (BIFF) in partnership with Virgin Media (27 March – 6 April). After the award presentation there will be an onstage discussion and audience Q&A.

BIFF will screen Potter’s complete filmography including the features: Ginger & Rosa (2012), Rage (2009), Yes (2004), The Man Who Cried (2000), The Tango Lesson (1997), Orlando (1992), and The Gold Diggers (1983), as well as a selection of her short films.

Sally Potter made her first 8mm film aged fourteen. She has since written and directed seven feature films, many short films, and a television series, as well as opera and other live performance work. Her background is in choreography, music, performance art and experimental film. She is known for innovative form and risk-taking subject matter and has worked with many of the most notable cinema actors of our time.

Potter first came to a wider public after she received international acclaim for her 1992 film Orlando starring Tilda Swinton in a bold adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s classic novel that many had thought could not be captured on the big screen. The film proved to be immensely successful and received 25 awards and two Academy Award nominations. Orlando was followed by The Tango Lesson (1996), in which she also performed with renowned dancer Pablo Veron, The Man Who Cried starring Johnny Depp and Cate Blanchett, and Yes (2004), which is considered Potter’s return to more experimental methods of filmmaking as the screenplay is written in verse.

Recent features include Rage (2009), which was the first movie to premiere on a mobile phone, and starred Judi Dench, Steve Buscemi, and Jude Law, and Ginger & Rosa (2012). Her films have won over forty international awards and she has had full career retrospectives of her film and video work at the BFI Southbank, London, MoMA, New York, and the Cinematheque, Madrid. She was awarded an OBE in 2012.

To complement the film retrospective and Fellowship Award there will also be an exhibition, The Rage Portraits, a series of digital photographs taken by Sally Potter on the set of her film, Rage, (National Media Museum), as well as an educational seminar The Anatomy of a Film: Professional Filmmaking Practice and Process on 31 March at the University of Bradford.

In 2009, Aesthetica reviewed Sally Potter’s film Rage, exploring how surface and reality are integrated and juxtaposed in her pared down approach to filmmaking. You can read the full article in the Aesthetica Magazine archives.

BIFF will run from 27 March to 6 April 2014. For more information visit

1. Steve Buscemi as Frank in Sally Potter’s Rage (2009).