‘Empire Of Light’ Set As BFI London Film Festival Gala Screening

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The 66th BFI London Film Festival has set Empire Of Light, the latest film from Sam Mendes, as its American Express Gala screening.

Starring Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward (Blue Story, Top Boy), and Colin Firth, the film will receive its European Premiere on Wednesday, October 12 at the Southbank Centre in the Royal Festival Hall. Mendes will attend the screening with Producer Pippa Harris alongside key cast members, including Olivia Colman, Colin Firth, Michael Ward, and Toby Jones.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be included in this year’s BFI London Film Festival as the AMEX Gala screening. Empire of Light is a very personal movie for me, and I can’t wait to show it in my hometown,” Mendes said in a statement.

The film will mark Mendes’s first solo screenwriting credit and reunites the director with Academy Award-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins whom he worked with on 1917 and Skyfall.

In a statement, Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Director, added: “When I read that Sam Mendes’ next project was centred around a cinema, I was so excited about the possibility of being able to present it in the BFI London Film Festival. Mendes is a masterful storyteller and here vividly captures a sense of the South coast of England, in the 1980s. Empire of Light explores the importance of community, the power of storytelling and of the movies, specifically the thrill of watching a film in a dark cinema, and the tactile pleasures of celluloid. And these are themes so close to our hearts at the BFI.”

Empire of Light is produced by Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris’ Neal Street Productions, in partnership with Searchlight Pictures. The film will release theatrically in the US on December 9 following its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September and in the UK on January 13.

The 66th BFI London Film Festival runs in partnership with American Express and takes place October 5-15, 2022.

Source: deadline.com – ‘Empire Of Light’ Set As BFI London Film Festival Gala Screening

Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley, Luke Evans to Star in Netflix Animated Film ‘Scrooge: A Christmas Carol’

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Olivia Colman (“Landscapers”), Jessie Buckley (“Men”) and Luke Evans (“Crossing Swords”) will voice parts in Netflix’s CG animated feature “Scrooge: A Christmas Carol.”

The film is a supernatural, time-travelling, musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens’ beloved Christmas story. With his very soul on the line, Scrooge has but one Christmas Eve left to face his past and build a better future. Evans voices Scrooge, Colman voices the Ghost of Christmas Past, Buckley Isabel Fezziwig, Johnny Flynn Bob Cratchit, Fra Fee Harry Huffam), Giles Terera Tom Jenkins, Trevor Dion Nicholas the Ghost of Christmas Present, James Cosmo Mr. Fezziwig, and Jonathan Pryce voices Jacob Marley.

The film is directed by Stephen Donnelly (“Monster High: Welcome to Monster High”) and features re-imagined songs from the late two-time Oscar and Grammy winner Leslie Bricusse (“Doctor Dolittle,” “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” “Superman,” “Home Alone”). The songs are arranged and produced by Jeremy Holland-Smith, who has also provided the original score.

Donnelly said: “It’s been a fascinating challenge to adapt such a beloved and often-told story. I think this version will give those who know ‘A Christmas Carol’ all the things they expect, but not as they’ve experienced them before. There are more than enough psychedelic, time-travelling and musical surprises to keep those familiar with the story on the edge of their seats, while the authentic essence of Dickens has been retained for those coming completely fresh to the classic tale. I can’t wait to share this new version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ with the world and sincerely hope audiences embrace it this year and for many to come.”

The streamer revealed a raft of European animated titles last month, of which “Scrooge: A Christmas Carol” is one. The film will bow on Netflix in December.

source: variety.com – Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley, Luke Evans to Star in Netflix Animated Film ‘Scrooge: A Christmas Carol’

First look at The Crown’s Olivia Colman in new movie as release date is confirmed

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Olivia Colman, star of The CrownHeartstopper and many, many other things, has a new film on the way, and a first-look image and its release date have just been revealed.

Joyride stars the actress as a solicitor named Joy who, alongside a baby, finds herself in the back seat of a taxi that’s been hijacked by a 12 year old boy. The boy in question, Mully, had a wad of cash with him and is desperate to get as far away from his father as possible.

But as this unlikely pair journey across Ireland, the dramatic circumstances of their meeting slowly give way to a growing friendship between them, as they help each discover what they were both missing in their lives.

Emer Reynolds, director of documentaries like Songs for While I’m Away and editor of films like My Name is Emily, got behind the camera for this film, which releases in cinemas on July 29.

Despite appearing in countless films and TV shows, Colman admitted last year that there is one aspect to acting that still terrifies her: live performance.

“I worry that as I get older and slightly more recognisable then all these people will watch when you f**k it up and say: ‘We went to see that person we have seen on the telly; not that good on stage,'” she said. “I think I’ve built it up so much. I did love it. I need to get over it.

“The moment just before the lights go down: ‘I f**king hate this job, I f**king hate myself and I’m going to vomit or wee and suddenly you are on stage. It’s an awful feeling.”

As it turns out, Colman did actually have such an accident on stage once, so you could say her fear was justified.

Joyride will be released in cinemas in the UK and Ireland July 29, 2022.

Source: digitalspy.com – First look at The Crown’s Olivia Colman in new movie as release date is confirmed

Costumes from multi-award-winner The Favourite go on display at Blenheim Palace

A collection of costumes, made by esteemed British designer Sandy Powell for the 2019 film The Favourite, have gone on display at Blenheim Palace as part of a new exhibition, ‘Battlefields & Baroque’, a retrospective celebrating the life of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. 

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The pieces, which are historical representations of period dress made with modern fabrics, will be held at the residency for the public to enjoy until 19 June. 

Powell, who has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Costume Design 15 times, winning three awards for the films Shakespeare in Love (1998), The Aviator (2004), and The Young Victoria (2009), chose the monochrome style of black and white for the court characters in The Favourite, in order to differentiate them from the outside world. 

The film, which was based on Queen Anne’s escapades at court, starred Olivia Colman as the monarch (who won an Oscar for her performance) and Rachel Weisz as Sarah, 1st Duchess of Marlborough, alongside Mark Gatiss as Churchill. 

Queen Anne gifted the duke his title following his victories over Louis XIV in 1697, which ‘forever changed the face of Europe’. However, the duke fell out of favour with the sovereign due to his supposed scheming at court, and was exiled from the country, only to return safely after her death in 1714. 

According to letters and diaries accumulated from the period, Churchill married his wife Sarah for love, despite the traditional concept of marriage as being largely a business transaction aimed at optimising power and wealth. 

The costumes will be displayed alongside 18th-century armour, instruments, maps, documents and artefacts from the Blenheim archive. 

The palace, which is the only non-royal, non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of ‘palace’, is currently the stately seat owned by the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough.

The exhibition will run from now until 19 June 2022. For more information visit blenheimpalace.com

Source: tatler.com – Costumes from multi-award-winner The Favourite go on display at Blenheim Palace 

Olivia Colman to star in BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations

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Olivia Colman is to appear in the BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel Great Expectations, playing the role of wealthy spinster Miss Havisham.

The Oscar-winning actor 48, will star in the six-part series chronicling the life of an orphan named Pip.

The cast will also feature Fionn Whitehead as Pip, alongside Ashley Thomas, Johnny Harris, Shalom Brune-Franklin, Hayley Squires, Owen McDonnell, Trystan Gravelle and Matt Berry.

The Bafta-winning writer Steven Knight created the series, which will be executive produced by the team behind the BBC’s 2019 adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Lucy Forbes, who previously worked on BBC series This Is Going to Hurt, will act as lead director with Mark Kinsella as producer. Great Expectations and A Christmas Carol are the first two in a series of adaptations of Dickens’ novels that have been commissioned by the BBC and FX Productions.

Great Expectations, published in 1861, was initially released as a series of weekly chapters before it was published as a novel.

Martita Hunt played the role of Miss Havisham in the 1946 film version.

Source: theguardian.com – Olivia Colman to star in BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations

Olivia Colman, Rowan Atkinson, Sally Hawkins join ‘Wonka’ as UK shoot starts

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Olivia Colman, Rowan Atkinson and Sally Hawkins have joined Warner Bros’ Wonka as production got underway in the UK on Wednesday (September 29).

The trio join Timothée Chalamet in the lead role as Willy Wonka in the studio’s Roald Dahl spin-off. New cast include Matt Lucas, Mathew Baynton, Tom Davis, Simon Farnaby, Rich Fulcher, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Paterson Joseph, Keegan-Michael Key, Colin O’Brien, Natasha Rothwell, Rakhee Thakrar and Ellie White.

Paul King of the Paddington films directs and Harry Potter universe producer David Heyman produces alongside Luke Kelly, who produced the recent feature adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches as well as the upcoming Matilda, and Alexandra Derbyshire, who was executive on the Paddington films.

Wonka takes place prior to events in Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and imagines the origins of the young inventor. King wrote the screenplay with Paddington 2 co-writer Farnaby (with prior writers including Simon Rich, Simon Stephenson, Jeff Nathanson, and Steven Levenson). Michael Siegel and Rosie Alison are executive producers.

Wonka is scheduled to open on March 17, 2023. Warner Bros handles global distribution.

Source: screendaily.com – Olivia Colman, Rowan Atkinson, Sally Hawkins join ‘Wonka’ as UK shoot starts

Olivia Colman and Matt Lucas join forces for exciting GOSH initiative

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Comedian Matt Lucas and actress Olivia Colman have joined forces with Great Ormond Street Hospital’s play team to launch their new Power of Play hub – a new free online activity resource for children.

The hub came about following research by GOSH Charity, which discovered that two thirds (66%) of parents polled were concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on how children play will have long-term impacts on their child’s wellbeing.

Three-quarters (74%) of parents said that play has “helped their child cope” as the world around them has changed beyond recognition.

The Power of Play hub provides an outlet for children to express themselves and their emotions, with brand new stories, audio recordings, activities and ideas that use play to help children (and their parents) cope with all types of childhood challenges.

Actress Olivia Colman voices a TV advert to support the campaign, while Little Britain star Matt Lucas narrates a poem featuring Tweedledee and Tweedledum about the pair being separated due to illness.

Matt Lucas said: “What is Tweedledee without Tweedledum? As we discover in this beautiful new poem, he is worried and anxious at being far away from his much-loved brother. It was a moving experience to step back into the characters of Dee and Dum once more, and share their feelings with other children and parents who might have struggled with being far away from their loved ones, especially during the last 18 months.

“I hope the raucous, playful game that Alice introduces them to in this poem will inspire parents and children alike to turn to play as a way of coping during times of sadness.”

The online hub also has a new Peter Pan story, in which Peter feels lonely but Tinker Bell devises a game to give Peter the confidence he needs to tackle his worries and make new friends.

Beano fans will gain support from the website’s exclusive comic, where Dennis and Gnasher use play and pranks to come to terms with a cancer diagnosis. And there’s new animation of Hey Duggee, who uses play to help Frog when her new siblings arrive, and things feel different.

Coming soon to the hub in October is a new Horrid Henry animation and an audiobook from CBeebies’ JoJo & Gran Gran.

The free animations, audiobooks and activities are designed to help parents and children deal with themes including loss, loneliness, sadness, illness and isolation, which many children have experienced during the pandemic.

Laura Walsh, Head of Play at Great Ormond Street Hospital says: “Play is a superpower at the fingertips of all children, and it’s especially important at times of change or worry, when building our children’s resilience can help them to cope with life’s challenges.

“While the last 18 months have seen children adapt to circumstances none of us could have imagined, this September they’ll also have the ordinary childhood experiences likes starting school and making new friends.

“Using our years of experience as play specialists at GOSH, we have teamed up with GOSH Charity and some much-loved children’s characters to create our Power of Play hub and bring to life the transformative power of play. We’re really proud to offer parents free, trustworthy, practical tips and resources to help their children embrace play to overcome their worries and discover all that life has to offer them.”

Source: hellomagazine.com – Olivia Colman and Matt Lucas join forces for exciting GOSH initiative

Olivia Colman among stars making Cameo videos to raise money for Afghan refugees

Olivia Colman in Stella McCartney. Photo: AFP

UK charity Choose Love has banded together a group of celebrities to raise money for Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban.

A host of stars, including Oscar-winner Olivia Colman, Game of Thrones stars Lena Headey and Wilf Scolding, author Dolly Alderton, Bastille singer-songwriter Dan Smith, Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan and TV presenter Ben Fogle, have joined the charity and personalised video platform Cameo. They will donate 100 per cent of their videos’ profits to the non-governmental organisation.

Fans will be able to buy custom video messages from each of the stars, with Colman selling clips from $750. Coughlan’s start at $500 and Headey’s $325. Also on board are Homeland star Nazanin Boniadi and James McVey of The Vamps, both with videos going from $100.

“We are so excited to be partnering with Cameo and some of our favourite supporters, who will bring you exclusive personalised video messages for you or your loved ones! And we can’t wait to share with you the rest of the supporters who are also joining,” Choose Love wrote on Instagram.

“All proceeds will go to support projects providing vital aid and services to Afghan people who have fled the country, such as clothes, shelter, support for children and groups protecting women and children’s rights.”

You can opt to pay more than the stated amount, if you wish to donate more money.

Choose Love is a UK NGO, which advocates for and provides humanitarian aid to refugees around the world.

The charity’s target was £250,000 ($340,630) and at the time of writing, it had raised £259,342.95.

Source: thenationalnews.com – Olivia Colman among stars making Cameo videos to raise money for Afghan refugees

Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman’s The Father comes to Blu-ray next month

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Lionsgate UK is releasing Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman’s double Academy Award and double BAFTA winning film The Father on Blu-ray & DVD from August 30th.

Hopkins stars in the eponymous role of a mischievous and highly independent man who, as he ages, refuses all assistance from his daughter Anne (Colman). Yet, such help has become essential following Anne’s decision to move to Paris. As Anne’s father tries to make sense of his changing circumstances, he begins to doubt his loved ones, his own mind and even the fabric of his reality.

The Father is drawn from the stage play of the same name, which was written by Florian Zeller and launched in Paris in 2012, winning a Moliere Award for Best Play, before hitting Broadway and London’s West End, where it won both Tony and Olivier Awards for Best Actor (for Frank Langella and Kenneth Cranham respectively).  

Zeller directed the film adaptation – his feature debut – filmed in London with a British cast, from a screenplay he co-wrote with playwright and screenwriter Christopher Hampton (Atonement, Dangerous Liaisons).  

Source: seenit.co.uk – Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman’s The Father comes to Blu-ray next month

Sam Mendes Sets ‘Small Axe: Lovers Rock’s Micheal Ward To Star Opposite Olivia Colman in Searchlight’s ‘Empire Of Light’

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EXCLUSIVE: After meeting with and auditioning a number actors, Searchlight drama Empire of Light directed by Sam Mendes has set Top Boy breakout Micheal Ward to join Olivia Colman. The film will mark Mendes first since his Oscar-winning World War I drama 1917 and he also penned the script and marks his first solo script. The film will be produced by Mendes and Pippa Harris’ Neal Street Productions. Production is expected to star in fall of 2022.

While plot details are under wraps, the film is described as love story, set in and around a beautiful old cinema, on the South Coast of England in the 1980s. Mendes will also reunite with his 1917 cinematographer Roger Deakins.

Mendes has been taking his time in finding Colman’s co-star and in recent weeks Ward began positioning himself as a choice for the role.

Winner of the 2020 EE BAFTA Rising Star Award, Ward recently starred in the highly anticipated Netflix series Top Boy. In the series, Ward plays one of the lead roles, Jamie, a young, hungry and ruthless gang leader who has taken over. The resurgence of Top Boy hit the headlines after it was announced Drake would executive produce the series on Netflix. He can most recently be seen in Lovers Rock which is the second episode of Steve McQueen’s anthology series, Small Axe, which premiered to rave reviews in November of 2020. Ward also has a supporting role in the upcoming Netflix film Beauty. The film is written by Lena Waithe and stars Giancarlo Esposito and Sharon Stone. A ‘Screen International Star of Tomorrow 2020’, He is currently shooting the next season of Top Boy for Netflix.

Source: deadline.com – Sam Mendes Sets ‘Small Axe: Lovers Rock’s Micheal Ward To Star Opposite Olivia Colman in Searchlight’s ‘Empire Of Light’