The 59th BFI London Film Festival has announced that this year’s Opening Night film will be Suffragette.
Suffragette is an intense drama that tracks the story of the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement as they fought for the right to vote, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with an increasingly brutal State. These women were not primarily from the genteel educated classes, they were working women who had seen peaceful protest achieve nothing. Radicalised and turning to violence as the only route to change, they were willing to lose everything in their fight for equality – their jobs, their homes, their children and their lives. The character of Maud, played by Carey Mulligan, is one such foot soldier. The story of her fight for dignity is both heart-breaking and inspirational.
Suffragette is the first feature film to tell the story of the ordinary British women at the turn of the last century who risked everything in the fight for equality and the right to vote. The film stars Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Brendan Gleeson, Anne-Marie Duff, Ben Whishaw and Meryl Streep and is directed by LFF alumna Sarah Gavron, returning to the Festival for a third time along with her Brick Lane screenwriter Abi Morgan.
BFI London Film Festival Director Clare Stewart commented on the selection saying “We are proud to announce that the much anticipated Suffragette will be this year’s BFI London Film Festival Opening Night gala. Suffragette is an urgent and compelling film – made by British women, about British women who changed the course of history and it is, quite simply, a film that everyone must see.”
The film will receive its European premiere on Wednesday 7 October at the Odeon Leicester Square, attended by the filmmakers and stellar cast. The red carpet will also be broadcast into cinemas nationwide preceding multiple simultaneous screenings taking place at cinemas across the UK.
Suffragette Producers Faye Ward and Alison Owen also commented on the opening night selection in a statement saying “Suffragette is a film of struggle, a film of rage, but above all a film of passion. The women in our film are British women, London women, so it feels right for us to present our film at BFI London Film Festival. The Suffragettes would have felt very much at home here, surrounded by the energy, determination, hard work and inspiration that goes into both the Festival and the films that screen here.”
The film will be released later this year in the UK on October 30th and in the US a week prior on October 23rd. Suffragette is produced by Ruby Films for Pathé, Film4 and the BFI in association with Redgill Productions and with the participation of Canal+ and Cine-Cinema. Executive Producers are Cameron McCracken, Tessa Ross, Rose Garnett, Nik Bower, James Schamus and Teresa Moneo. Christopher Collins was the lead executive for the BFI.
The 59th BFI London Film Festival will run from October 7th – 18th 2015 and the complete programme for the festival will be announced on Tuesday September 1st 2015.
About the Author
Contributing Editor Allison Rockwell.