Not quite the bumper month of festivals June was, but July does have some great British TV and movies showing in parts of the US. Comic-Con is the huge event of the month with people flocking to San Diego from all around the world. British TV will be well represeted with shows Torchwood, Doctor Who & Bedlam all making an appearance with their casts including Matt Smith & John Barrowman. In other parts of the country festivals are being held in Ventura, Los Angeles and Indianapolis. Highlights include a screening of BBC TV drama movie The Night Watch in LA and Peter Mullan’s Scottish movie NEDS in Indianapolis.
Also the From Britain With Love showcase is still running in theaters across the US. The UK Film Council in partnership with The Film Society of the Lincoln Center, Emerging Pictures, Creative Screen Associates and BAFTA New York have got together to bring you six of the most recently successful independent UK movies. It is running in a number of cites across the country and you can find all of the details in our previous article here.
If one of these festivals is in your neck of the woods and are interested seeing something new, take a look at all the British movies and TV showing below. If you click on the festival title it will take you to the official festival site for schedules and tickets.
Battle of the Bagpipes – The Battle of the Bagpipes is a verite-style documentary that tells the candid story of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Bands legendary trip to the 2009 World Pipe Band Championship in Scotland. It is a journey jam-packed with passionate characters who share their stories of sacrifice as they approach the biggest day of their lives.
NEDS – Directed by the acclaimed actor and director Peter Mullan (My Name is Joe, The Magdalene Sisters) NEDS, so called Non-Educated Delinquents, takes place in the gritty, savage and often violent world of 1970’s Glasgow. On the brink of adolescence, young John McGill is a bright and sensitive boy, eager to learn and full of promise. But, the cards are stacked against him. Most of the adults in his life fail him in one way or another. His father is a drunken violent bully and his teachers – punishing John for the ‘sins’ of his older brother, Benny – are down on him from the start. With no one willing to give him the chance he desperately needs, John takes to the savage life of the streets with a vengeance. NEDS is not only a story of lost hope, it is story of survival by any means necessary.
The Flaw - David Sington’s rigorously constructed analysis of the meltdown, told entirely by economists, brokers, bankers, and borrowers, plays like a financial whodunit. Moving past the usual suspects, it creates a vivid historical context through which to view twentieth-century American capitalism.
Bolstered by graphics and animation (ironically plucked from postwar cartoons extolling free markets) the film renders complex ideas digestible and argues that capitalism has changed in the last 30 years—and not for the better. Once sold on consumer power through borrowing and a higher standard of living, we realize we bought into a lie. The Flaw has burst the bubble.
Bashment – Rikki Beadle-Blair (FIT) returns to Outfest with this hard-hitting urban drama adapted from his 2005 stage play exploring the intersection of race, sexuality and music. After a brutal gay bash attack at a reggae dancehall competition, a group of thuggish performers defend their actions as being provoked by the victim. They serve a shockingly light sentence, and as their release date nears, their original public defender rallies with the victims to examine the homophobic song lyrics and ask the question “Did the music make you do it?” Featuring finely tuned performances by a multiracial cast.
Break My Fall – In this gritty and realistic drama, four queer hipster friends in East London find their lives changed one fateful drug and alcohol-fueled night. Liza and girlfriend Sally play in an indie rock band and have an intense and dysfunctional relationship. Their guy pals are also floundering: Vin works as a hustler, while Jamie looks to find stability in a boyfriend. Writer/director Kanchi Wichmann takes an unflinching and artistic look at the complex and often not so pretty terrain of human relationships.
The Night Watch – The highly anticipated BBC film adaptation of Sarah Waters’ novel THE NIGHT WATCH doesn’t disappoint, with all the mystery, betrayal and hunger you would expect from the author of Fingersmith and Tipping the Velvet. It’s an intimate character study of five Londoners in the 1940s, as their intertwining secrets and desires reflect the precious humanity and havoc of the war that serves as their backdrop. A hauntingly beautiful story, this poignant film burns with a sensual flame.
Weekend – British filmmaker Andrew Haigh, winner of Outfest 2009′s Artistic Achievement Award for his first feature, GREEK PETE, returns to the festival with his second feature – already an acclaimed award-winner itself. With the same intimacy and rare authenticity of his impressive debut, WEEKEND explores the relationship between two young gay men that evolves from a drunken one-night stand into a dynamic and complex portrait of modern gay romance over the course of a booze, drug and sex fueled weekend, building to a delicate emotional climax.
The chemistry between coleads Tom Cullen and Chris New lights fire to a precise yet free-flowing script that allows them to playfully explore the dimensions and shifting moods of their characters. The film’s natural rhythm utilizes the confines of its construct to explicitly and unapologetically express themes that transcend sexuality without ever denying it. WEEKEND advances the gay narrative – both filmic and socially – in ways that few films have. Winner of the 2011 SXSW Emerging Visions Audience Award.
Bedlam – Exclusive U.S. Premiere Screening and Q&A Friday, July 22, 5:15-6:15pm ROOM 7AB. Star Theo James (Underworld 4: New Dawn, Downton Abbey) and creator David Allison (Boy Meets Girl) host a premiere screening event followed by discussion and Q&A. Bedlam Heights, the stylish new apartment building, has sexy tenants and gorgeous decor. But little do the new residents suspect that behind the luxury fittings lay unimaginable horrors. This is a place tainted by abuse, suffering and death – and the ghosts of its dark and violent past are out for revenge. As the direct descendent of those who ran the asylum, Kate (Charlotte Salt, The Tudors) – who both lives and works there – is a prime target. She is surprised by the unexpected arrival of Jed (James) – her adopted cousin. Jed is unique. With a history of mental illness, he’s a troubled man who sees ghosts and visions of the past. Recent messages to ‘Save Kate,’ propel him back into Kate’s life. Can he really ‘Save Kate?’ And from whom, or what, does she need saving? Everybody has a dark side in this new series also starring Ashley Madekwe (Secret Diary of a Call Girl), Hugo Speer (Skins) and Will Young (Pop Idol winner, Skins).
Doctor Who – Panel and Q&A Sunday, July 24, 12:30-1:30pm HALL H. Stars Matt Smith and Karen Gillan make their first Comic-Con appearance for a panel and Q&A with Doctor Who writer Toby Whithouse (Being Human creator) and executive producers Piers Wenger and Beth Willis. They’re bringing with them, exclusive new footage from the new episodes airing later this summer on BBC AMERICA. Doctor Who follows the adventures of the Doctor, the mysterious traveler who journeys throughout all of time and space, picking up companions along the way and almost always sidestepping danger.
Doctor Who, from award winning lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat, stars BAFTA nominee Matt Smith as the Doctor and Karen Gillan as his companion Amy Pond, along with Arthur Darvill as Rory and Alex Kingston who plays River Song. Part One of the new season, which premiered in April, delivered record ratings for BBC AMERICA and marked the first time Doctor Who filmed on American soil. Its finale ended with the unveiling of a massive secret and the words “Let’s Kill Hitler” on screen.
Torchwood: Miracle Day – Imagine a day when nobody dies. All across the world, nobody dies. And then the next day, and the next, and the next, people keep aging. They get hurt and sick but they never die. This is the extraordinary premise of the highly-anticipated STARZ original drama series, “Torchwood: Miracle Day,”. For “Torchwood: Miracle Day,” set to debut on STARZ, Friday, July 8th at 10pm ET/PT, the panel will feature: Torchwood alum John Barrowman (Capt. Jack Harkness), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), and new headliners Bill Pullman (Oswald Danes), Mekhi Phifer (Rex Matheson), Alexa Havins (Ester Drummand), Lauren Ambrose (Jilly Kitzinger) and writer Jane Espenson. On Thursday, July 21 at 9:30pm PT, the eve of the panels, STARZ will screen a never-before-seen “Torchwood: Miracle Day” episode entitled “Night of Dead” in room 6DE. This episode premieres on STARZ the following day, Friday, July 22 at 10pm ET/PT.