The Mostly British Film Festival was created by Ruthe Stein and Jack Bair eight years ago to bring to Bay Area audiences the best in cinema from the UK, Ireland, Australia, India, New Zealand and South Africa. For many of our films this is the only opportunity to see them in a theater. We have shown local premieres of such films as “56 Up,” “Hunger,” “Red Riding Trilogy,” “Lunchbox” and “London River.” The directors represented at the festival include John Boorman, Ken Loach and Mike Leigh and the actors are Colin Firth, Ewan McGregor, Cate Blanchett, Jim Broadbent and Charlotte Rampling, to name just some. Our guests of honor have been Malcolm McDowell, Minnie Driver, Michael York and Joel Edgerton.
THE MOSTLY BRITISH FILM FESTIVAL RETURNS FEBRUARY 16-23, 2017 TO THE HISTORIC VOGUE THEATER IN SAN FRANCISCO FOR ITS NINTH YEAR
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA. The Mostly British Film Festival heads into its 9th year with 26 new and classic feature films and documentaries from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, India, New Zealand and South Africa. More than half of them, including opening and closing night features, are San Francisco premieres.
The festival opens February 16 with “Their Finest,” the latest from “An Education” director Lone Scherfig. With a cast headed by Bill Nighy and Gemma Arterton, this delightful romantic comedy tells the story of the British film industry during World War II, charged with buoying the spirits of people living in constant fear of the Blitz. The festival closes on February 23 with the Australian family drama “The Daughter” about a grown son who returns home for his father’s wedding. Geoffrey Rush, Sam Neill and Miranda Otto star.
A special series on February 18, The Beatles on Film, commemorates the Fab Four’s final concert at Candlestick Park a half century ago. Consisting of a trio of movies starring or about The Beatles, the program culminates with the timeless magical documentary “A Hard Day’s Night” presented in a new digital restoration.
Famed British film editor Anne V. Coates will be an honored guest on February 21. A five-time Oscar nominee and winner for “Lawrence of Arabia,” she is a current recipient of an honorary Oscar called “the Governor’s Award” from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Her career began with “The Red Shoes” in 1948 and she last edited “50 Shades of Grey.” Her other films include “Beckett,” “The Horse’s Mouth” and “Unfaithful.” Miss Coates will be interviewed on stage by film historian David Thomson (“The New Biographical Dictionary of Film”), followed by a screening of “Murder on the Orient Express,” which she edited.
British Noir evening, a tradition at the festival, on February 17 will feature the classic thriller “Mona Lisa” starring Bob Hoskins and Michael Caine and directed by Neil Jordan (“The Crying Game”) along with a new Noir “A Patch of Fog” starring Conleth Hill of “Game of Thrones.”
The always popular Irish Spotlight on February 19 features a coming-of-age drama “Twice Shy; an unconventional story of bereavement, “Mammal,” starring Rachel Griffiths (“Six Feet Under”); and two very different Irish high school outsiders striving to be true to themselves in “Handsome Devil.”
Numerous Australian films will be highlighted including “Alex and Eve,” an adaptation of a hit stage play, and “Looking for Grace” starring Radha Mitchell (“Melinda and Melinda”) and Richard Roxbury (“Rake”).
The pre-eminent British director Terence Davies, a festival favorite, will be represented by “A QuietPassion.” Davies employs painterly tableaux to portray Emily Dickinson’s life of supreme intelligence undermined by social codes and convention. Those who know Cynthia Nixon only from “Sex and the City” will be surprised by her nuanced performance as the 19th century poet. Fans of “Glee” won’t want to miss “The Rehearsal,” about a prestigious New Zealand drama school and its students who aspire to be stars.
The festival will be held at the Historic Vogue Theater in San Francisco, which at over 100 years is one of the oldest movie houses in the world. Mostly British is presented by the San Francisco Neighborhood Theater Foundation (sfntf.org). Festival passes and individual tickets are on sale at the Vogue and at mostlybritish.org and cinemasf.com.