After a record breaking total audience of 29,000 people, we can announce that the music documentary High on Hope is our overall audience favourite, with The King’s Speech being named as favourite fiction feature. After collecting audience votes from every screening during the Film Festival, High on Hope received an average score of 4.64 out of 5, giving it the best average score out of over 100 feature films featured in the 18 day festival.
Music documentary High On Hope commemorates the 20th anniversary of acid house, telling the story of the infamous ‘Hardcore Uproar’ warehouse parties in Blackburn 1989-91. From just 50 friends these parties grew to over 10,000 people dancing in cavernous warehouses across the north-west every week. The film held its UK premiere at this year’s Film Festival to a sold-out audience as part of Cinema Versa, the Film Festival’s documentary strand, and was attended by director Piers Sanderson in person.
With a documentary taking the overall top spot, the audience named their favourite fiction feature as The King’s Speech: the moving story of the man who became King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II. The King’s Speech continues director Tom Hooper’s connection to Leeds after the massive success of The Damned United, with Screen Yorkshire providing crew for the sections of the film made in Leeds. Fresh from its world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival where the film also won the People’s Choice Award, and now tipped for Oscar® success, we shared The King’s Speech as our Opening Gala screening with 900 people in the fabulous Leeds Town Hall on a brand new 40 foot wide screen.
Archive film has also proved to be extremely popular with audiences this year. The audience favourite for archive film is Oscar-nominated Norwegian film Elling. A big audience favourite at film festivals in 2002, Elling is a darkly funny and heartwarming comedy about two society misfits faced with day to day life: Elling, a painfully shy and neurotic middle-aged man, and the loud hulk Kjell.