To celebrate Shakespeare400, Film London presented 'Shakespeare on Screen', a programme that included screenings, touring programmes, talks and new Shakespeare-inspired productions including feature films, shorts and artists’ commissions. The patron of the season was Sir Kenneth Branagh.
Shakespeare on Film
Film Hub London ran a season of Shakespeare films and events and also lead on the BFI Film Audience Network Shakespeare on Film season, which saw classics, talks, silent films, Samurai and Bollywood screened across the UK
Screenings were held in multiplexes, independent cinemas, film clubs, pop-ups and community venues the length and breadth of the UK enticing audiences with a broad range of must-see filmic interpretations of Shakespeare’s work and special events featuring leading cinematic lights.
From a Q&A with Kenneth Branagh beamed live to 70+ cinemas across the country from Belfast’s Queen’s Film Theatre, to spectacular screenings in castles, and silent films set to bold new scores from leading contemporary artists, BFI Presents: Shakespeare on Film presented a series of big screen revelations that enthralled and entertained everyone from dyed-in-the-wool bard aficionados to casual cinemagoers keen for a fresh new filmic experience.
The programme contained a dedicated youth focus, including an ‘in conversation’ session with Kenneth Branagh and Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission
Kenneth Branagh, director, actor and patron of Film London’s own Shakespeare on Screen initiative, said:
“It’s a real privilege to be returning with Henry V – the first Shakespeare feature I directed, to the Queen’s Film Theatre in my home city, as part of this wonderful celebration of Shakespeare’s life, work and legacy on screen. The fact that Film London has organised the event to be beamed live to cinemas across the UK is particularly exciting.”
Still Shakespeare was an exciting series of experimental animation commissions, inspired by original research by Sally Barnden and produced in partnership with the London Shakespeare Centre at King's College London and animation companies Film Club at Th1ng and Sherbet. The film ideas were developed during workshops supported by the Cultural Institute at King's College London.
A clip from of the animations 'Neck and Neck' by Shaun Clark:
All the World's a Screen
Co-produced by Adrian Wootton, Film London's CEO, this BBC Arena documentary looked at the complex history and cultural achievements of Shakespeare on film.
Shakespeare’s Sister was a short film initiative which aimed to help address the gender imbalance in film by giving female filmmakers funding and support to showcase their talent, with films inspired or informed by Shakespeare's plays, poems, characters or life.
Two films were chosen following an intensive selection process which saw some 265 applications and a shortlist of six projects. Both of the selected projects received £15,000 in production funding, along with support and development from Film London, expert mentoring from Film4 and membership to Women in Film & TV.
Marina and Adrienne
Written/directed by Lucy Campbell and produced by Loran Dunn, Marina and Adrienne is inspired by 'Pericles, Prince of Tyre'. The film sees fugitive lovers Marina and Adrienne posing as fishermen and finding work on a trawler. Far out at sea, a ferocious storm picks up and Marina, revealed to be female and pregnant, gives birth on board, amongst the oil, ice and fish, to the shock and wonder of the old fishermen, but dies in childbirth. In the grip of the merciless storm, and driven by superstition, the fishermen insist the body goes overboard, with the baby - the only way to placate the sea's fury.
WYRDOES is a comedy inspired by 'Macbeth', written and directed by Nat Luurtsema and produced by Jennifer Eriksson and Iona Westlake. Three sisters - Elsab, Magrit and Merope - battle through poverty and rumours that they're witches just because they're a little 'wyrd'. Through accidental tragedy, murder and war, the downtrodden Wyrdoes finally fight back!
Shakespeare in London map
The map illustrates the locations used in Shakespeare in Love, Richard III, As You Like It and Doctor Who, as well as pinpointing where Shakespeare lived and worked.
Kenneth Branagh Q&A & special screening of Henry V
Kenneth was interviewed by Film London CEO Adrian Wootton, discussing his career directing, producing and performing Shakespeare, followed by a screening of his critically-acclaimed and star-studded adaptation of Henry V.Read more about the the Q&A and Screening
Shakespeare, London and film
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Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, discussed the Film London Shakespeare on Screen programme, and looked at Shakespeare's enduring impact on film and his relationship with London.
Produced through Microwave, this UK-India co-production is a contemporary retelling of Titus Andronicus, set in the extravagant surroundings of an Indian wedding.