The 60th BFI / London Film Festival / A United Kingdom
The 60th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express®
takes place between 5 October-Sunday 16 October 2016.
Gabrielle Sauve [Features Director / LAB Gallerie] with Event images Courtesy of www.franpetersson.com
On Wednesday 5th October, saw the prestigious BFI London Film Festival celebrate it’s 60TH Anniversary in partnership with American Express® at the Odeon Leicester Square, London. The opening Night gala presented Amma Asante’s A UNITED KINGDOM making it’s European premiere, with cast and filmmakers Asante, David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike in attendance. Based on a true story of Seretse Khama, King of Bechuanaland (modern Botswana), and Ruth Williams, the London office worker he married in 1947 in the face of fierce opposition from their families and the British and South African governments.
Director Amma Asante comments: “It’s a great privilege that A UNITED KINGDOM has been selected as the Opening Night Film of the BFI London Film Festival. The Festival means a lot to me personally, having showcased my very first film, A Way of Life, here and been honoured with the UK Film Talent Award. I’m a proud Londoner and in A UNITED KINGDOM we’ve been able to film in some of the most beautiful parts of the city as well as in the wonderful landscapes of Botswana.”
A UNITED KINGDOM is directed by Asante (Belle) from a screenplay by Guy Hibbert (Eye in the Sky), based on the book Colour Bar by Susan Williams. The cast is led by David Oyelowo (Selma) as Seretse Khama with Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) playing his future wife Ruth Williams. Other cast includes Jack Davenport (Pirates of the Caribbean), Terry Pheto (Mandela), Tom Felton (Harry Potter), Arnold Oceng (Adulthood), Jack Lowden (’71) and Laura Carmichael (Downton Abbey).
Clare Stewart, BFI London Film Festival Director, says: “Amma Asante’s A UNITED KINGDOM is testament to a defiant and enduring love story that also reveals a complex, painful chapter in British history. We are proud to be opening the 60th BFI London Film Festival with a film of such contemporary relevance, one that celebrates the triumph of love and intelligence over intolerance and oppression, and that confirms Asante as a distinctive and important British filmmaker.”
The film is produced by Rick McCallum (Star Wars), David Oyelowo, Justin Moore-Lewy, Brunson Green (The Help) and Charlie Mason. The film is executive produced by Pathé’s Cameron McCracken, BBC Films’ Christine Langan, the BFI’s Ben Roberts, Ingenious Media’s Eleanor Clark Windo and Guy Hibbert.
The film is a Pathé, BBC Films, BFI, Ingenious presentation with the participation of Canal + and Cine + of a Yoruba Saxon/Harbinger Pictures/Perfect Weekend/ Film United Production of a film by Amma Asante. Pathé will distribute the film in the UK and France and will handle sales throughout the rest of the world.