Special Feature: Woody Allen’s latest to open BIFF 2011

It was today announced that Woody Allen’s new film You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2011) will open the Bradford International Film Festival on 16th March 2011. This year’s festival will run 16th – 27th March. Allen has attracted stellar British talent for his new feature including Anthony Hopkins, Gemma Jones, Pauline Collins, Ewen Bremner and Anna Friel. Antonio Banderas, Naomi Watts, Lucy Punch, Josh Brolin and Freida Pinto round out the ensemble cast.

The film tells the story of a pair of married couples. Alfie and Helena (Hopkins and Jones), and their daughter Sally and husband Roy (Watts and Brolin) – discover that their passions, ambitions, and anxieties drive them out of their minds. After Alfie leaves Helena to pursue a free-spirited call girl, she surrenders herself to the advice of a charlatan fortune teller. Unhappy in her marriage, Sally develops a crush on her handsome boss, Greg (Banderas), while Roy, a failed writer, becomes moonstruck over a mystery woman (Pinto). Despite their attempts to dodge their problems with pipe dreams, all their efforts lead only to heartache…

The festivals Artistic Director Tony Earnshaw said; “We are thrilled to have Woody Allen’s new film open the Festival this year. We are long time fans of his work and have enjoyed previews of some of his previous films at BIFF including Everyone Says I Love You (1996) and Deconstructing Harry (1997). I know our audience will be as delighted as we are to have this early opportunity to see his new film.”

For the first year the Festival will be part of a nationwide satellite broadcast of the National Theatre production of Frankenstein. Bradford audiences will be able to enjoy the delights of live theatre from the comfort of their cinema seat at the National Media Museum on Thursday 17th March. The production is directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Danny Boyle and stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller. Boyle will take part in a live interview prior to the performance, live from the South Bank.

As always BIFF will present a diverse range of features from countries all over the world, headline guests, short films and the perennially popular Widescreen Weekend, which once again will present extremely rare titles and old favourites.

Titles include the unique 3-strip Cinerama print of How the West Was Won (1962), with newly added footage making it the most complete version of the film ever shown on our screen, Dance Craze (1981), Operation Crossbow (1965) and a David Lean triple-bill consisting of The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Doctor Zhivago (1965). We are delighted to be working with the David Lean Foundation to present these high quality versions, which includes a newly restored The Bridge on the River Kwai. Widescreen weekend guests will include historian and academic Professor Sir Christopher Frayling, technician Joe Dunton and Circlorama director Stanley Long.

Full programme details and guests for the 17th annual Bradford International Film Festival (BIFF) will be announced on February 23rd 2011.

*Release courtesy of Freud

Daniel Green