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Foyle Film Festival Unveils 2016 Programme

04 November 2016

One of the biggest new releases of 2016, A United Kingdom, will have its Northern Ireland premiere at the opening night of Foyle Film Festival on Wednesday, November 16 – ten days before it hits UK cinemas.

From director Amma Asante (Belle), A United Kingdomis the true story of Prince Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo), who marries Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), a white woman from London in 1947 in the face of fierce opposition from their families and the British and South African governments. Star of the film Jessica Oyelowo (Sleepy HollowAlice In Wonderland and Madame Bovary) will attend the gala screening in Brunswick Moviebowl.

The festival programme continues until Sunday 20 November with a number of other film and documentary premieres, including Driving with Selvi, the story of a former child bride, who escapes her violent marriage and becomes South India’s first female taxi driver and The Innocentsa compelling French drama about a young doctor becoming the sole hope for an isolated convent.

From Academy Award® winning director Roger Ross Williams, Life, Animated is the inspirational story of Owen Suskind, a young man who was unable to speak as a child until he and his family discovered a unique way to communicate by immersing themselves in the world of classic Disney animated films.

Once again, Foyle Film Festival will delight families with an exclusive preview screening of Disney’s latest animation, Moana, from the team that brought us The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and The Princess & the Frog. Other family events include Rock Dog 3Din Brunswick Moviebowl and Paddingtonand teddy bears’ picnic in Nerve Centre.

As part of the BFI and Film Hub NI Black Star Season, the festival celebrates the careers of Forest Whitaker and Muhammad Ali with a number of screenings and special events. On Thursday, November 17 Clint Eastwood’s Oscar®-winning Birdstarring Whitaker as pioneering bop saxophonist Charlie Parker will screen in Nerve Centre. Music from the film, performed by the Joseph Leighton Jazz Trio will follow the screening.

‘Knockout! A Weekend with Ali’ will look back at the boxer’s most iconic fights, in and out of ring, his historic visit to Ireland 44 years ago and how his career, still to this day, inspires the local boxing fraternity. Renowned Derry boxer Charlie Nash will lead a panel reflecting on the contribution that Ali made to sports, politics and culture at a special event in on Saturday 19 November. The discussion will be followed by the chance to enjoy a screening of the Oscar®-winning film, When We Were Kings.

The festival closes on Sunday, November 20 with The Eagle Huntress, a spellbinding documentary that follows Aisholpan, a 13-year-old nomadic girl in Mongolia, bucking centuries of tradition with her quest to become modern-day Mongolia’s first female eagle hunter. The film is narrated and executive produced by Daisy Ridley (Star Wars).

Bernie McLaughlin, Foyle Film Festival Director and Programmer, said: “I’m delighted to present this year’s programme which features over 50 feature films, documentaries, short films and animations from across the world.

“From November 16 – 20 we’re taking film-goers on a cinematic adventure, from the deserts of Egypt, off-road America, 1930s Korea to the busy roads of Karnataka, South India to highlight the incredible true stories of ordinary people who have overcome the odds to achieve extraordinary things.”

The festival’s Light in Motion (LIM) awards, sponsored by City of Derry Crystal, will be celebrated with the annual From Shorts to Features’ conference on Saturday 19 November at the Nerve Centre. Filmmakers John Maclean (Slow West), Tony Cranstoun (I Give It A Year, Mr Bean’s Holiday, Love, Rosie) and Ciáran McMenamin (Made In Belfast, To End All Wars) are among the industry luminaries taking part in the event.

The Foyle Film Festival is the only Oscar® affiliated festival in Northern Ireland and, in addition to the conference, will offer an exciting programme of in-competition documentaries, short films and animations from across the world. The 2016 winners will be announced on the Closing Night at Brunswick Moviebowl. 

For the fifth consecutive year, the festival has partnered with Brunswick Moviebowl. Caoimhin McClafferty, Operations Manager, said: 

“Everyone here at Brunswick Moviebowl is absolutely thrilled and delighted to host the Foyle Film Festival again in 2016. It’s one of the standout events in our cinematic calendar year where we get the opportunity to showcase the very best feature films, documentaries, short films and animations from across the world.  The partnership formed over the last five years between Brunswick Moviebowl and the Foyle Film Festival has gone from strength to strength and we’re honoured and privileged to be associated with Northern Ireland’s premiere film festival. 

On behalf of everyone here at Brunswick Moviebowl I’d like to congratulate Bernie McLaughlin, Festival Director and Programmer, and all her team, on the wonderful programme of events and wish the entire Foyle Film Festival team every success in 2016.  I look forward to welcoming everyone to Brunswick Moviebowl for what promises to be another fabulous Foyle Film Festival this year”.

Foyle Film Festival is funded by the Department for Communities through Northern Ireland Screen and by Derry City and Strabane District Council.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Alderman Hilary McClintock said Council is delighted to be associated with the Foyle Film Festival. “This year’s programme is fantastic, with something for everyone to enjoy. Every year the festival goes from strength to strength offering film lovers the chance to experience a diverse range of cinematic offerings right on their doorstep. It is another great success story for our city and district and I would like to wish everyone associated with the festival every success.”

For programme and booking information visit www.foylefilmfestival.org or call the festival box office on 028 7126 0562.