High-Profile Crowd Gathers to Celebrate U.K. Film at the Toronto Film Festival

Lizzie Franke - Ind, Lizzie Nastro
Stacey Newman

The U.K. Film Reception at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, celebrating the achievement and excitement of more than 30 UK films and coproductions, unfolded on Monday on the rooftop lounge of the Spoke Club, Toronto’s arts and entertainment private members club.

CEO of Film London and the British Film Commission CEO Adrian Wootten made opening remarks, followed by Ben Roberts, director of the Film Fund, who thanked everyone for their contributions to this year’s impressive U.K. slate.

At the relaxed gathering, executives from British Film Institute, the British Consultate-General in Toronto, representatives from The British Council, The BBC, Film 4, Pinewood Studios, media partner Variety, and U.K. film talent and industry players mingled with international guests as afternoon turned to evening.

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Modern-day western “Lean on Pete” (A24) was well represented with writer-director Andrew Haigh (“Weekend”), star Chloë Sevigny, and executive producer Ben Roberts.

Variety also caught up with director Clio Barnard, whose feature “Dark River” screens in the juried competition Platform, actors Sacha Parkinson and Molly Wright (starring in Daniel Kokotajlo’s Discovery pic “Apostasy”), Toronto festival artistic director Cameron Bailey, and “The Breadwinner” producer Anthony Leo.

This year’s selection of U.K. films includes Gala titles such as Joe Wright’s “Darkest Hour,” Haifaa Al-Mansour’s “Mary Shelley,” and Andy Serkis’ Breathe,” Armando Iannucci’s “The Death of Stalin,” which opened Platform, and Sophie Fiennes’ head-turning doc “Grace Jones: Bloodlight & Bami.”

(Pictured: Adrian Wootton, Daniel Battsek, and Kattie Kotok)

(Pictured in top image: Lizzie Francke, Lizzie Nastro, Andrew Haigh, Chloe Sevigny)

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