British Success in Venice and Toronto Film Festivals

A ‘British invasion’ of the Lido and the TIFF Bell Lightbox has been widely reported with a record number of UK films in selection at this year’s Venice and Toronto Film Festivals. Stephen Frears’ Philomena won the best screenplay award at Venice, and first runner-up in the People’s Choice Award competition at Toronto.

A round up of some of the BFI-backed British films:

  • Belle, Amma Asante
    Belle was developed at the Film Fund, and the film’s script puts a new spin on what we know of heritage cinema. At it heart though remains a classic romance story.
  • The Double, Richard Ayoade
    The Double references elements of Chaplin with touches of expressionism – the humour is denser but also more physical.
  • Half of a Yellow Sun, Biyi Bandele
    An incredible, ambitious and epic adaptation for Bandele’s feature debut. He is brilliantly supported by his first-rate cast.
  • How I Live Now, Kevin Macdonald
    A very bold and unique piece of material which presents its young protagonists with the full force of a war we can’t begin to imagine.
  • Philomena, Stephen Frears
    The script is so sad and yet laugh out loud funny. Judi Dench is just as brilliant in her role as ever.

Ben Roberts, Director of the BFI Film Fund, discusses why it chose to support the 12 BFI-backed films at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The whole list can be viewed at:

1. Film still from Belle, Amma Asante. Courtesy of BFI.