DINARD — Stephen Frears’ “The Queen” opened the Dinard Festival of British Cinema Thursday Oct. 5, giving auds in Brittany, north-west France, a chance to see the film before its debut in the rest of the country later this month.
Brian Cox and Leslie Philips were among the thesps on hand from across the Channel who made appearances at the opening ceremony Thursday. Dinard will honor them by screening their films during the four-day event, as well as the works of documentary filmmaker Michael Grigsby.
Jury members include Irish actress Bronagh Gallagher and Brit actors Charles Dance and Stephen Mangan.
Household-name French actors on the jury, presided by Francois Berleand, are Chantal Lauby and Evelyne Bouix.
Six films are vying for the fest’s top prize, comprising the Hitchcock d’Or Award, a Euros 3,000 stipend for distribution costs, and a Euros 1,600 director grant.
Local French auds get to vote in the winner of The Hitchcock d’Argent.
In contrast to the sunny, Indian summer weather in Dinard during last year’s event, clouds darkened the resort town’s palm trees and pristine streets on the opening days of this year’s fest. The somber mood reflected the films in competition, such as Menhaj Huda’s “Kidulthood,” about urban youth who engage in wanton sex and violence while running amuck in London, Yousaf Ali Khan’s “Almost Adult,” in which two African teenage girls find themselves in the U.K. sans family, friends and a visa; and Adrian Shergold’s “Pierrepoint,” which portrays a loving husband and neighborhood grocery deliveryman who moonlights as a hangman.
Also in competition are Niall Heery’s “Small Engine Repair,” Sean Ellis’ “Cashback,” and Paul Andrew Williams’ “London to Brighton.”
The fest will close with Andrea Arnold’s “Red Road” and feature special screenings of “The Fallen Idol,” directed by Carol Reed and Antoine de Caunes’ “Desaccord Parfait,” staring Jean Rochefort, one of the most recognized living French actors.
Local premieres include Debbie Isitt’s “Confetti,” Jeremy Brock’s “Driving Lessons,” Richard Bracew-ell’s “The Gigolos,” Julien Temple’s “Glastonbury,” Jamil Dehlavil’s “Infinite Justice,” Sean Hogan’s “Lie Still,” Richard Laxton’s “Life & Lyrics,” Brian Kirk’s “Middletown,” Philippe Pilard’s “Neil Jordan, Portrait,” Christopher Smith’s “Severance” and Marc Evans’ “Snow Cake.”
The fest will host over 50 films, and organizers expect to attract over 23,000 admissions, most of whom are locals.