The 2022 Cunard British Film Festival full programme has been unveiled with a formidable line-up celebrating the talents of Britain’s finest filmmakers and actors including Stephen Frears, Sally Hawkins, Emma Thompson, Bill Nighy and more. Marking its 10th anniversary this year, the festival will deliver a number of exclusive premieres of highly anticipated films in addition to a fabulous selection of dramas, documentaries and comedies, the majority of which are screening for the first time in Australia.
Opening the festival nationally on 19 October (18 October in Adelaide) is the premiere of MRS. HARRIS GOES TO PARIS, a whimsical tale based on the popular novel. Starring the fabulous Lesley Melville as the titular Mrs. Harris, it follows her adventures as she embarks on a journey through Parisian high fashion. And closing the festival will be the premiere of the new film from Shekhar Kapur WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?, starring Lily James, Emma Thompson and Shazad Latif. A cross-cultural romantic comedy, it follows a filmmaker who decides to document her best friend’s journey toward arranged marriage.
Two Centrepiece Premieres exclusive to the festival are THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN, a twisted tale of friendship gone awry from the makers of In Bruges starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson; and EMPIRE OF LIGHT, a love letter to cinema from director Sam Mendes.
Based on the true story of the discovery of King Richard III’s remains beneath a Leicester car park, THE LOST KING is a witty drama starring Sally Hawkins and Steve Coogan and follows the quest of amateur historian Philippa Langley who is initially dismissed by scholars and academics. The directorial debut from British-Australian Frances O’Connor EMILY is a haunting drama of desire and creativity in 19th Century England depicting the brief life of Wuthering Heights author Emily Brontë. Another period set drama, THE ROAD DANCE, takes place in a village in the Outer Scottish Hebrides. When the men are conscripted for WWI, a road dance to send off the soldiers turns the life of local girl Kristy upside down. Written by London-based Australian Adam Silver, IN FROM THE SIDE focuses on the passionate chaos of an adulterous affair between two members of a fictional South London gay rugby club and reveals the many different games that people play.
Festival favourite Bill Nighy stars in LIVING, a touching tale of a terminally ill man searching for meaning in 1950s London that will inspire and enthral with a wonderful performance from Nighy. The screenplay was adapted by Kazuo Ishiguro, based on the 1952 classic Akira Kurosawa film. JOYRIDE stars Olivia Colman as Joy, who sets out to give away her newborn baby and is unexpectedly joined by a cheeky 12-year-old boy as the odd couple go on a trip of self-discovery.
You know the name, you know the number. James Bond is back on the big screen in a curated line up showcasing sixty years of iconic style and adventure in an unmissable retrospective screening in stunning 4K. Honouring all the actors who played the iconic Agent 007, the specially selected collection will be screened at the special price of $13 and include Bond films from the very first, DR. NO, to SKYFALL, starring Daniel Craig and Judi Dench.
Other festival features include A BIRD FLEW IN, a moving lockdown-set film; PRIZEFIGHTER set in the early 1800s about the youngest ever boxing Champion of England and his fight to reclaim his title, and THE ALMOND AND THE SEAHORSE, starring Rebel Wilson and Celyn Jones in which an archaeologist and an architect fight to re-imagine the future after traumatic brain injury leaves them adrift from the people they love.
The full programme and tickets for the Cunard British Film Festival are now on sale, including the specially priced eTicket Bundle, exclusively at Palace Cinemas. For more ticketing and film information, check out www.britishfilmfestival.com.au
The Cunard British Film Festival presented by Palace screens in the following locations:
Adelaide: 18 Oct – 16 Nov, Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas, Palace Nova Prospect Cinemas
Sydney: 19 Oct – 16 Nov, Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinema, Palace Central
Canberra: 19 Oct – 16 Nov, Palace Electric Cinemas
Melbourne: 19 Oct – 16 Nov, The Astor Theatre, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth, Palace
Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Kino Cinema and Pentridge Cinemas
Brisbane: 19 Oct – 16 Nov, Palace Barracks and Palace James Street
Perth: 19 Oct – 16 Nov, Palace Raine Square, Luna on SX, Luna Leederville and Windsor Cinema
Byron Bay: 19 Oct – 16 Nov, Palace Byron Bay
Other reviews you might enjoy:
- British Film Festival 2021
- British Film Festival 2020 – movie feature
- 2023 Cunard British Film Festival – a preview
David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television