Ellie Taggart | 17 September 2019

What’s more British than the Queen? The MINI British Film Festival is returning in 2019, bringing us a programme of new and old flicks from across the British Isles including a glimpse at Dame Helen Mirren’s lesser-known work.

The festival, which is presented by Palace Cinemas, will run from Tuesday 29 October until Sunday 24 November across the nation however Brisbane can check out the festival on Wednesday October 30 at Palace Barracks and Palace Centro James St. Last year’s festival was such a success that an extra week was added to the festival to give audiences more quality films to enjoy.

While the full programme will be released in October, programme highlights have just been announced and it seems to have everything you could want in a British Film Festival (BYO tea perhaps?).

20 new releases will be showcased at the festival across a multitude of genres, alongside some classics and a new festival special, Mirror on Mirren. Mirror on Mirren sheds some light on the Academy Award-winning actress and will showcase her past films that have recently not made it to light such as The Age of Consent (1969), Savage Messiah (1972), O’Lucky Man (1973), The Madness of King George (1994), Calendar Girls (2003) and critically acclaimed, The Queen (2006).

The MINI British Festival has recognised 2019 is the year of Mirren (I mean isn’t every year?) and have also decided to close the festival with Dame Helen Mirren’s latest film The Good Liar (2019). Gods and Monsters (1998) screenwriter and director, Bill Condon and Sir Ian McKellen have previously worked together on Mr. Holmes (2015) and now McKellen is returning to star alongside Mirren in the thriller based on Nicholas Searle’s Sunday Times bestselling novel (our teeth are chattering in anticipation).

The festival opening film is the anticipated new drama film by director Peter Cattaneo, Military Wives (2019). Military Wives, featuring Kristin Scott Thomas takes the story of an all-women choir formed on the frontline and focuses on the bravery needed when loved ones are deployed in combat.

Bill Nighy and Annette Bening star in, Hope Gap, the story of a married couple looking to explain their son, played by Josh O’Connor, about their intentions to divorce. There are other festival highlights announced such as Liam Gallagher, of Oasis fame, and the lead up to his comeback tour in Liam Gallagher: As It Was and a new entry from Ken Loach, titled Sorry We Missed You (after I, Daniel Blake we know this will be a great watch).

British biographical tale Fisherman’s Friends is a light-hearted comedy about a Cornwall-based singing group that achieves success after their signing to Universal Records (we love that this is based on a true story).

If political thrillers are more your thing, Oscar-winner Gavin Hood (We still love his 2015 film with Mirren, Eye In The Sky) has teamed up with Keira Knightly to deliver the true story of Katharine Gun, a whistle-blower for the American invasion of Iraq in Official Secrets.

Finally, fan-favourite documentary Romantic Road (2017) follows the journey of an elderly couple, the Grey’s, as they travel through India to a human rights festival. How of course? In their 1936 Rolls Royce (we wish we had their style).

Tickets go on sale on October 9, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for more announcements until then.

One thing is certain: you’ll catch us at the festival, and we will be packing some scones and jam with us for the ride.

You’ll find more information and tickets available here.

About the author

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A lover of 80s films, pun enthusiast and a proud owner of too many books, Ellie Taggart loves to find a good story wherever she can. She spends her time consuming film, television and all things pop culture and has a weakness for Linda McCartney’s Cheese and Leek Plaits. She knows the Dangerfield catalogue off by heart and has one too many silly anecdotes about her life. And once you get her started on them who knows where you’ll end up.

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