Sir Tom Courtenay 50th Anniversary of BILLY LIAR at Bradford International Film Festival


Lifetime Achievement and Opening and Closing Night Films Announced at the 19th Bradford International Film Festival in partnership with Virgin Media 11-21 April 2013

The 19th Bradford International Film Festival in partnership with Virgin Media, (11-21 April) is proud to reveal its 2013 line-up which includes a tribute to actor Sir Tom Courtenay, who receives the Lifetime Achievement Award in the 50th anniversary year of Billy Liar (Dir. John Schlesinger) – the perennial classic filmed in and around Bradford, the world’s first UNESCO City of Film.

The Look of Love, the new feature by UK director Michael Winterbottom, starring Steve Coogan as the ‘King of Soho’, Paul Raymond, Anna Friel as his wife, Jean Raymond, and a wealth of British screen talent, opens the Festival in Pictureville Cinema on Thursday 11 April.

The main Festival closes on Sunday 21 April with The Reluctant Fundamentalist directed by Mira Nair (Salaam Bombay, Monsoon Wedding), a powerful adaptation of the Booker Prize shortlisted novel, starring 2010 Festival guest Riz Ahmed alongside Kiefer Sutherland and Kate Hudson, and is followed by an entire weekend dedicated to the world-renowned Widescreen Weekend (26-28 April), which this year celebrates the 60th anniversary of CinemaScope.

Festival Co-Director Tom Vincent said: “The 19th edition of the Bradford International Film Festival will open with a special preview of The Look of Love, which reunites director Michael Winterbottom and Steve Coogan following their great successes with 24 Hour Party People, BBC2’s The Trip and A Cock and Bull Story. It is a deftly-handled; by turns witty and tragic, but always entertaining look at ‘King of Soho’ Paul Raymond’s colourful life and his part in changing the nation’s attitude to nudity in the 70s.”

Festival Co-Director Neil Young added: “Once again we want to provide a great selection of movies and events for anyone who loves cinema. We are delighted to be honouring Sir Tom Courtenay with our lifetime achievement award, 50 years after the release of the classic Billy Liar, which we’ll be showing in a newly restored version, along with A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. The Festival will close with a special preview screening of the eagerly awaited film version of the acclaimed novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, directed by Mira Nair, and starring Riz Ahmed and Kiefer Sutherland.”

Sir Tom Courtenay will receive his Lifetime Achievement Award on Saturday, 13 April in Pictureville Cinema, followed by A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. The 50th Anniversary screening of Studio Canal’s restored version of Billy Liar is on Sunday, 14 April.

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Other highlight events include: Happy Birthday, Indian Cinema!  - a celebration of this year’s centenary of Indian cinema which includes a screening of the only surviving footage of 1913’s first feature Raja Harishchandra (Dir. Dadasaheb Phalke) along with 12 classic and contemporary titles, including three UK premieres. This strand adds to many other anniversary activities taking place in Bradford, including the National Media Museum’s exhibition Bollywood Icons: 100 Years of Indian Cinema.

Three live shows will fill the Museum’s cinemas with music and comedy – skifflemeisters and silent film pianist extraordinaire The Dodge Brothers and Neil Brand, (with BBC critic Mark Kermode on double bass), return following last year’s triumphant appearance, to accompany the classic silent movie The Ghost That Never Returns; hit of the Edinburgh Fringe, comedian Aidan Goatley gives a hilarious and heartfelt performance talking about movies and paternal relations in 10 Films With My Dad; and one half of Adam and Joe and BBC 6 Music presenter Adam Buxton presents his hit show Best of Bug (sold-out).

The Festival will host two premieres of specially-prepared tributes featuring unseen footage from prolific Bradford filmmaker CH Wood, in partnership with the Yorkshire Film Archive, supported by Bradford UNESCO City of Film and the Telegraph & Argus newspaper.

Complementing the Festival, from 30 March to 4 May, there will be free Saturday Matinee screenings of family favourites presented by Bradford UNESCO City of Film in Bradford City Park.

Filmmakers’ Weekend offers two days packed with industry knowledge and insider tips from panels, workshops and master-classes (Saturday 20/Sunday 21 April). Special industry guests include Oscar winning screenwriter Simon Beaufoy, who will present a writer’s master-class, and a keynote presentation by writer/director Paul Andrew Williams (London to Brighton, The Cottage, Song For Marion). Organised in association with the Northern Film School at Leeds Metropolitan University.