The 24th Leeds International Film Festival 1


Leeds International Film festival announces programme: The King?s Speech to open the 24th edition on 4th November

The 24th Leeds International Film Festival has announced its full 2010 programme, beginning with an Opening Gala screening of The King?s Speech. Directed by Tom Hooper (The Damned United) and featuring an all-star cast fronted by Colin Firth (A Single Man, Mamma Mia!), the Gala will open the Film Festival on Thursday 4th November at Leeds Town Hall.

The Film Festival offers a stunning blend of the old and the new, with the splendour of the Town Hall?s d?cor complimented by a brand new 12 by 5 metre screen and full digital surround sound, making this a truly state of the art venue. With an 800 person capacity, the astounding new screen and sound can be fully experienced for the first time from the newly-opened balcony seating.

The King?s Speech is the moving story of the man who became King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II. It is the mid-thirties, and the son of King George V, ?Bertie? (Colin Firth), is plagued by a dreaded stutter and considered unfit to be king. Encouraged by his caring wife Elizabeth, Bertie engages the assistance of an unorthodox speech therapist named Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) who helps the heir to the throne free himself from his powerlessness.

Fresh from its world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival where the film won the prestigious People?s Choice Award (previously won by Danny Boyle?s worldwide phenomenon Slumdog Millionaire), and now tipped for Oscar? success, Leeds is one of only a few places to see the film before its UK release in January. The King?s Speech continues director Tom Hooper?s connection to Leeds after the massive success of The Damned United, with Screen Yorkshire providing crew for the sections of the film made at Leeds? very own Elland Road Stadium, home of Leeds United FC.

The film?s illustrious cast includes three-time BAFTA award nominee Colin Firth (A Single Man, Mamma Mia!) Oscar?-winner Geoffrey Rush (Pirates of the Caribbean, Shine) and Helena Bonham Carter (Harry Potter, Sweeney Todd).

The Town Hall is the host location not only for the Opening Gala, but for all the very best new cinema from around the world throughout the Festival. Just a few other films to be screened at the Town Hall are Never Let Me Go, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Animal Kingdom and Fanomenon Day of the Dead 4 as part of the Fanomenon programme section (the North?s biggest genre film event offering a unique combination of fantasy cinema experiences, both light and dark).

The full programme is available now at www.leedsfilm.com:

Never Let Me Go is a poignant drama based on the acclaimed, best-selling novel of the same name by Kazuo Ishiguro featuring a trio of terrific performances by Keira Knightley, Andrew Garfield and Carey Mulligan.

Winner of the 2010 Palme d?Or at Cannes Film Festival,?Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives is one of the most striking films of recent years. Suffering from kidney failure, Uncle Boonmee has chosen to spend his last days in a location of past lives and familiar ghosts.

With echoes of Scorsese?s early crime dramas, the Film Festival is proud to host the UK premiere of Animal Kingdom by first-time Australian writer/director David Mich?d. Set in the Melbourne underworld, 17 year old Joshua moves in with his estranged family who are on the run from renegade detectives, and Joshua is about to get caught up in a cold-blooded revenge plot that turns the family upside down. Suspenseful, moving and enriched with a real psychological depth, Mich?d is a filmmaker to watch.

Fanomenon Day of the Dead 4 is quickly becoming one of the most anticipated events in the country for fans of international horror and genre films. With special guest appearances, extended on stage interviews and special preview events, horror fans can enjoy some of the years? most talked about films all on one day.

Highlights of the five films to be shown include The Dead, a stunning ?zombie journey movie? filmed in isolated but beautiful parts of Africa never before seen on film, with directors Howard and Jon Ford in attendance, and the UK premiere of the highly acclaimed Kidnapped, fresh from its Best Horror Feature and Best Director wins at Fantastic Fest; the biggest genre festival in the USA.

Fanomenon Day of the Dead 4 takes place on Saturday 13th November with four of the features being screened in competition for the prestigious M?li?s d?Argent award.

Chris Fell, Director of Leeds International Film Festival said:

?Opening with The King?s Speech is a major coup for Leeds International Film Festival and special thanks to Momentum Pictures in London for helping to make this happen. As one of the most talked about new films of the year and part-filmed in Leeds too, The King?s Speech will make a perfect start to our major programme of outstanding world cinema and a great launch event for our flagship venue of Leeds Town Hall.?

The 24th Leeds International Film Festival is presented by Leeds City Council, and supported by the MEDIA Programme of the European Union and Screen Yorkshire, with lead sponsors anCnoc Highland Single Malt Whisky, East Coast Mainline, Leeds Brewery, Northern Rail, twentysix Digital, Bewley?s Hotels, Vue Cinemas and Jet2.com.

Taking place over 18 days across 10 venues, of which the Town Hall will be the centre of the action, the Film Festival screens over 110 feature films and 150 shorts from the 4th to the 21st of November 2010.

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