The British Film Festival might only be six years old, but this year's event comes with a considerable sense of history. It's there in the fest's opening night film, Collette, which stars Keira Knightley as 19th-century French novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. It's evident in a four-movie tribute that'll blow the bloody cinema doors off, showcasing the work and career of Michael Caine. And, it's obvious in closing night's Stan & Ollie, with Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly as one of cinema's greatest double acts: British comedian Stan Laurel and his American counterpart Oliver Hardy.
Dramatic true tales about Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart all keep the theme going, as do real-life spy thriller Red Joan with Judi Dench and the Idris Elba-directed, 70s and 80s-set Jamaican gangster movie Yardie. There's also a retrospective dedicated to Brit flicks from the swinging sixties, plus Peterloo — the latest effort from seven-time Oscar nominated writer/director Mike Leigh, which focuses on a working-class demonstration in Manchester in 1819.
Screening at Sydney's Palace Norton Street, Palace Central, Palace Verona and Chauvel Cinema between Tuesday, October 23 and Wednesday, November 14 (with a few extra days always tacked on at the end to replay the most popular titles), the 2018 BFF boasts plenty of other highlights — and genres and stars as well. Catch a Scottish Christmas-themed teen-zombie-musical-comedy courtesy of Anna and the Apocalypse, and watch Rob Brydon go synchronised swimming (yes, really) in Swimming with Men. Or, see Star Wars' Daisy Ridley, Harry Potter's Tom Felton and Clive Owen take on Shakespeare in Ophelia, a reworking of Hamlet.