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Leeds International Film Festival Submissions

Wuthering Heights announced as Opening Gala

Wuthering Heights Opens LIFF25

For our 25th anniversary edition we are delighted to announce that our Opening Gala film will be Wuthering Heights, a bold new version of Emily Brontë’s novel by BAFTA award-winning filmmaker Andrea Arnold. The film recently had its world premiere at Venice Film Festival where it won the prize for Best Cinematography and attracted critical claim for its radical take on the classic novel. Our presentation on the opening night of LIFF25 on Thursday 3rd November at 7.15pm in Leeds Town Hall will be one of the first public screenings anywhere. The director of Red Road (2006) and Fish Tank (2009), Andrea Arnold is one of Britain’s most exciting filmmaking talents and her adaptation of Wuthering Heights has been hailed as ‘stunning’ and ‘groundbreaking’ – ‘a beautiful rough beast of a movie, a costume drama like no other’, says The Guardian.

Wuthering Heights will be one of the most talked-about British films of the year and is particularly exciting for us at the Film Festival due to its many local connections beyond the novel source. Shot in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and co-funded by Screen Yorkshire, the film also stars Leeds’ own James Howson as Heathcliff. Howson, in his first major film role, was selected after a year-long casting process led to the film’s production team plucking him from the streets of Leeds. The role of Cathy is played by rising star Kaya Scodelario, best known for a lead role in hit TV series Skins.

The Programme Manager for LIFF25, Alex King, describes the film as being ‘the most tactile literary adaptation in film history’ with ‘superb cinematography, editing and sound design which converges in a hypnotic synthesis of sound and image evoking the rugged, weather-beaten beauty of the Yorkshire landscape, the unsentimental vigour of the natural world and the voyeuristic intensity of the novel’s raw emotional power’.

Tickets on sale now: FREE for LIFF25 Pass holders* / £7.50 full / £6.00 concessions

*See the New round-up section below for more on the LIFF25 Pass

LIFF25 launch line-up announced for Light Night

A couple of newsletters ago we told you about our programme launch during Light Night on Friday 7th October on the giant screen at Leeds Town Hall, and now we can confirm the line-up (all screenings are FREE):

We start the evening at 6pm in the Victoria Hall with A Poet Goes North, a rare screening of Sir John Betjeman’s fascinating film about Leeds and its landmarks, made for the BBC in the 1960s but never broadcast. A Poet Goes North features Betjeman passing wry judgment on the city’s new and historic buildings, including Leeds Town Hall. Screening courtesy of the BBC / Yorkshire Film Archive. (Certificate U, 30 mins)

Then at 6.45pm we are presenting a selection of stunning animations by the Quay Brothers, to accompany an exhibition of their puppet work in the Town Hall Crypt which marks their major arts collaboration on the Leeds Canvas Project. Since the late 1970s, the identical twins Stephen and Timothy Quay have made a unique contribution to animation which you can discover through Light Night. (Certificate 12, 60 mins)

At 8pm we present the Special Preview of the 25th Leeds International Film Festival, with trailers from some of the line-up highlights. The free published guide with all programme details will be available at the preview event. (Certificate 15, 60 mins)

Following the LIFF25 special preview, we present the silent classic Nosferatu with live organ accompaniment from city organist Simon Lindley at 9.30pm. An iconic film of the German expressionist cinema, and one of the most famous of all silent movies, Murnau’s Nosferatu continues to haunt modern audiences with the unshakable power of its images. (Certificate PG, 93 mins)

Stay updated

Over the coming weeks we’ll be releasing more information about our programme and keeping you updated with new events going on sale. We won’t be emailing you everyday, instead we’ll be announcing information across our website, Facebook Page and Twitter alongside sending you highlights in our newsletter. At the moment you’ll notice that we send you a newsletter every Thursday but as we get closer to the Film Festival we’ll be sending you information twice a week (Monday and Thursday) to ensure that you’re aware of which screenings are selling fast and any late additions to the programme such as Festival Favourites.

News round-up

  • Our LIFF25 passes and Major Events are now on sale at www.leedsfilm.com including Paul Merton’s Silent Clowns, Night of the Dead XI and Day of the Dead 5. LIFF25 Passes are currently at the Early Bird rate of £80 for a single pass and £140 for a double pass, prices will increase on Monday 24th October: the pass gives free access to all individual screenings during LIFF25 (over 250), and big discounts on major events.
  • Paul Merton’s Silent Clowns is an event exclusive to the Film Festival and takes place on Wednesday 9th November at Leeds Town Hall, 7.15pm. It’s sure to be a laughter-filled and family-friendly highlight for all fans of comedy, film and music and tickets are selling fast so make sure you get yours before they go.
  • Fanomenon Night of the Dead XI returns to its regular haunt Hyde Park Picture House on Saturday 5th November at 11pm and will feature an incomparable selection of horror exclusives, stunning shorts and special guests.
  • Fanomenon Day of the Dead 5 is revisiting its past by returning to the City Varieties following its recent refurbishment on Saturday 12th November at 12 noon. The City Varieties is throwing open its doors for the feast of films, guests and surprises specially selected by the Fanomenon programming team.

The 25th Leeds International Film Festival is presented by Leeds City Council and funded by the MEDIA Programme of the European Union, the British Film Institute, and Screen Yorkshire.

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