From Apostasy to Monsoon: BBC Two presents season of British films
James R | On 22, Oct 2020
BBC Two is presenting a season of British films this autumn, with seven new premieres lined up for Saturday nights.
The season, backed by the BFI and BBC Film, is titled “British Film Premiere: New Films from New Voices” and aims to celebrating a new wave of British filmmakers offering fresh perspectives on UK life and experiences.
Each film will be available on BBC iPlayer after its transmission on BBC Two, and all will be accompanied by a short introduction from a UK film critic. Most of the films will also be available for free on BFI Player.
Featuring many debut features from a range of filmmakers, and starring actors such as Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians), Molly Windsor (Three Girls) and Nichola Burley (Wuthering Heights), the season follows the recent theatrical releases of several of the films, including Eva Riley’s acclaimed Perfect 10, Fyzal Bouifa’s Lynn+Lucy and Yemi Bamiro’s One Man and His Shoes. The season will kick off with Daniel Kokotajlo’s BAFTA-nominated Apostasy on Saturday 24th October.
Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two, says: “I am delighted that BBC Two will be showcasing this astonishing mix of new British films, making them available to audiences across the country. They are testament to the brilliant voices and talents working in the UK today and we couldn’t be prouder to bring them to the small screen.”
Rose Garnett, Director of BBC Film, comments: “BBC Two was where I first encountered so many great British films, and those early experiences fuelled a life-long love of cinema. Nothing compares to the big-screen experience, but at such a difficult collective moment to bring this new wave of British filmmakers to the channel is hugely exciting. I hope that by providing a national platform for these authored, bold perspectives we can both entertain and inspire film-lovers and future filmmakers across the UK.”
Here’s the line-up:
Apostasy (dir. Daniel Kokotajlo)
Showing: 9pm, 24th October
Nominated for the 2019 BAFTA for Outstanding British Debut, Apostasy premiered at the BFI London Film Festival in 2017. Kokotajlo is a former Jehovah’s Witness, and Apostasy is a powerful and authentic debut that offers a rare insight into the complex nature of faith, family, duty and love. As devout Jehovah’s Witnesses, Alex and Luisa, along with their mother Ivanna, are united in the Truth. Alex looks up to her confident older sister, while striving to follow in Ivanna’s footsteps as a ‘good witness’. But when Luisa starts to question the advice of the Elders, she makes a life-altering transgression that threatens her expulsion from the congregation. Unless Ivanna and Alex can persuade her to recant, they must shun her completely. Read our review
Make Up (dir. Claire Oakley)
Showing: 9.45pm, 31st October
Make Up premiered at the BFI London Film Festival, where it was nominated for Outstanding Debut. Teenager Ruth (Molly Windsor) travels to a seaside holiday park to stay with her boyfriend Tom (Joseph Quinn). It’s off-season, so the resort is mostly deserted, except for a few residents and a handful of staff charged with sprucing up the place. Ruth gradually settles into her new environment, finding work and making a new friend in the form of make-up enthusiast Jade. But one afternoon, while giving Tom’s caravan a spring clean, Ruth finds evidence her beau might be cheating on her. As her desire to uncover the truth turns into an obsession, she begins to realise she might be looking for something else entirely. Read our review
Perfect 10 (dir. Eva Riley)
Showing: 10pm, 7th November
Perfect 10 premiered at the BFI London Film Festival. It follows 15-year-old Leigh (Frankie Box), a gymnast focused on her first competition on the squad. Leigh’s life is turned upside down when her older half-brother Joe – who she didn’t know existed – comes to stay with her and her father. But when her confidence at gymnastics is knocked, Leigh finds herself caught up in an underground world of moped crime with her brother. Read our review
Lynn + Lucy (dir. Fyzal Boulifa)
Showing: 10.55pm, 21st November
Lynn + Lucy premiered at San Sebastian Film Festival and at the BFI London Film Festival and is nominated for two British Independent Film Awards. It follows Lynn and Lucy, two life-long best friends whose relationship as intense as any romance. Neither has ventured far from where they grew up. Lynn, who married her first boyfriend and whose daughter is fast growing up, is delighted when the charismatic, volatile Lucy has her first baby, a boy. Lucy however, does not react to motherhood as Lynn expects. Soon, they find their friendship tested in the most extreme circumstances. Starring newcomer Roxanne Scrimshaw alongside Nichola Burley (Love And Hate), this is the first feature from Cannes award-winning filmmaker Fyzal Boulifa. Read our review
Monsoon (dir. Hong Khaou)
Showing: 10pm, 28th November
Monsoon premiered at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and at the BFI London Film Festival. It stars Henry Golding as Kit, a young British Vietnamese man who returns to his birth country for the first time in over 30 years. No longer familiar with this country and unable to speak his native language, Kit embarks on a personal journey from Saigon to Hanoi in search of a place to scatter his parents’ ashes. Read our review
Dirty God (dir. Sacha Polak)
Showing: 10pm, 5th December
Premiered at Rotterdam International Film Festival and Sundance Film Festival, nominated for four British Independent Film Awards, Dirty God is a portrait of a woman with incredible resilience. Jade is no passive victim; she makes her own choices – good or bad – and deals with the consequences. Polak’s first English-language feature stars newcomer Vicky Knight.
One Man And His Shoes (dir. Yemi Bamiro)
Showing: 10pm, 6th December
Acquired by Storyville for BBC Three and straight from its premiere at the 2020 BFI London Film Festival comes Yemi Bamiro’s debut feature film, the documentary One Man And His Shoes – an exploration of the social and cultural impact of Nike’s Air Jordans and America’s love affair with consumer capitalism and celebrity culture.
Note: This is also available on BBC iPlayer from 17th November, presented by BBC Three.