The British Film Festival Has Unveiled Its Complete (and Characteristically Star-Studded) 2022 Program

Australia's annual celebration of British cinema is back with films starring Paul Mescal, Olivia Colman, Lily James, Colin Farrell, Bill Nighy and more.
Sarah Ward
Published on September 29, 2022

First, the British Film Festival's 2022 lineup wowed movie lovers with Bond and big-name festival hits. Now, the Australia-wide event has revealed its full program for the year — and it too is filled with highlights. Get ready to catch Paul Mescal's latest post-Normal People role, then check out a rom-com starring Lily James (Pam & Tommy) and Shazad Latif (Toast of Tinseltown), before seeing the Australian premiere of Olivia Colman's (Mothering Sunday) newest movie. As always, it's a star-studded affair, and it'll tour the country in October and November.

2022's ode to British will run from Tuesday, October 18–Wednesday, November 16, hitting picture palaces in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth and Byron Bay. Opening the fest: the already-announced Mrs Harris Goes to Paris, set in the world of French fashion, with Oscar-nominated Phantom Thread actor Lesley Manville in the titular role. At the other end, that aforementioned rom-com What's Love Got to Do With It? will wrap things up, with James and Latif joined on-screen by Emma Thompson (Good Luck to You, Leo Grande).

Mescal's addition to the program comes courtesy of Aftersun, which charts a father-daughter bond during a holiday — while Colman's arrives via Joyride, about a 12-year-old who flees a difficult home situation in a stolen taxi, only to find a woman passed out in the backseat with a baby.

Among the flicks with big names at this year's fest, they join the previously announced The Banshees of Inisherin, which reunites In Bruges writer/director Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) and his stars Colin Farrell (After Yang) and Brendan Gleeson (The Tragedy of Macbeth); plus the Bill Nighy (The Man Who Fell to Earth)-starring Living, about a terminally ill man in the 1950s.

There's The Lost King, too, which takes inspiration from the IRL discovery of King Richard III's remains beneath a Leicester car park, and features Sally Hawkins (The Phantom of the Open) and Steve Coogan (The Time with Alan Partridge).

Also on the complete bill, and a huge inclusion: Empire of Light, the new film from 1917, Skyfall and Spectre's Sam Mendes. Skyfall will also play as part of the Bond retrospective, but the director's latest has been called a love letter to cinema — because charting a romance in an old picture palace in the 1980s was always going to earn that description.

An Emily Brontë biopic, aptly named Emily, and directed by Australia actor-turned-filmmaker Frances O'Connor (The End), also sits on the lineup — as do more sea shanties in song-filled sequel Fisherman's Friends 2: One and All. Or, there's Rogue Agent, which dramatises conman (and fake undercover MI5 agent) Robert Freegard's IRL story; In From the Side, about an affair between two members of a fictional South London gay rugby club; and Aisha, focusing on a young Nigerian woman seeking asylum in Ireland.

As for that shaken-not-stirred contingent, it celebrates six decades since Dr No, the first movie in the 007 franchise, initially graced cinemas — and includes 14 films, with tickets $13 for each. The title that started it all is well and truly on the lineup, as are the fellow Connery-led You Only Live Twice, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger and Thunderball; Roger Moore-era titles Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun; On Your Majesty's Secret Service with Australia's Bond George Lazenby; Timothy Dalton in The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill; Goldeneye and The World Is Not Enough with Pierce Brosnan; and Daniel Craig's Casino Royale and Skyfall.


Tuesday, October 18–Wednesday, November 16 — Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas and Palace Nova Prospect Cinemas, Adelaide
Wednesday, October 19–Wednesday, November 16 — Palace Norton, Palace Verona, Palace Central and Chauvel Cinema, Sydney
Wednesday, October 19–Wednesday, November 16 — Palace Electric, Canberra
Wednesday, October 19–Wednesday, November 16 — Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth, The Kino, Pentridge Cinema and The Astor, Melbourne
Wednesday, October 19–Wednesday, November 16 — Palace James Street and Palace Centro, Brisbane
Wednesday, October 19–Wednesday, November 16— Palace Raine Square, Luna Leederville, Luna on SX and Windsor Cinema, Perth
Wednesday, October 19–Wednesday, November 16 — Palace Byron Bay, Byron Bay

The 2022 British Film Festival tours Australia between Tuesday, October 18–Wednesday, November 16. For more information and to buy tickets, visit the festival website.

Published on September 29, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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