The full line-up for the 58th BFI London Film Festival was unveiled this morning, with 245 feature films, including 16 World Premiers, 9 International Premieres, and 38 European Premieres making the list. Amongst the films chosen for this prestigious festival were two from Ireland. This marks a significant from the 13 that featured last year, but it is still great to see Irish film flying the flag abroad.
First up is John Boorman’s latest film Queen and Country, a sequel to his Oscar-nominated film Hope and Glory. The film, which was produced with support from Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, had previously been chosen for the prestigious Directors’ Fortnight selection at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.
Set in 1952, Queen and Country stars Caleb Landry Jones as an 18-year-old British man who joins the National Service and meets an amoral prankster who becomes his friend. They are assigned as instructors in a training camp while others are shipped out to fight in the Korean War. The film also stars Pat Shortt, Sinead Cusack, Callum Turner, David Thewlis and Richard E. Grant. The film is set 10 years after Hope and Glory and centres on the same characters.
Queen and Country will show in the festival on the 9th, 12th and 19th of October. Tickets will be available from September 18th.
The second Irish feature at the festival is Song of the Sea, the new animated feature film from Kilkenny-based studio Cartoon Saloon. The film, which is directed by Tomm Moore, marks Cartoon Saloon’s follow-up to their Academy Award nominated feature ‘The Secret of Kells’, and is set to feature as part of the children’s section of the Toronto International Film Festival later this month.
The story follows Ben and his little sister Saoirse, the last selkie, who can transform from seals to people, on her journey to the sea, to find her voice and sing the “Song of the Sea” to save all of fairy kind from being lost forever.
An all-star voice cast features in the film, including Brendan Gleeson, Fionnula Flanagan, David Rawle, Lisa Hannigan, Pat Shortt, and Jon Kenny. The score comes form The Secret of Kells collaborators Bruno Coulais and the Irish band Kila.
Song of the Sea will show in the festival on the 18th and 19th of October. Tickets will be available from September 18th.
The 58th BFI London Film Festival runs from October 8th to 19th. More info here.