T2 Trainspotting will open the PlayUK British film festival in Belgrade on Thursday 16 February (see below for the full programme). The film festival will premier 10 British films in six capitals across the region, screening the films at exactly the same time and spreading the latest offerings of the UK’s film industry across the Western Balkans.
The thematic focus of this year’s PlayUK festival is multi-layered. On one layer, the festival organisers aim to include films that celebrate human resilience and ingenuity in finding solutions to the problems we face in a changing world. On another, the festival is a celebration of the UK’s highly influential music scene, which is why it will screen a number of films focusing on music, bands and their legacy.
Thursday 16 Feb
8pm – T2 Trainspotting
First there was an opportunity……then there was a betrayal. Twenty years have gone by. Much has changed but just as much remains the same. Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to the only place he can ever call home. They are waiting for him: Spud (Ewen Bremner), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), and Begbie (Robert Carlyle).
Friday 17 Feb
5pm – The Confession
Moazzam Begg has been detained under suspicion of terrorism in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Cuba and Britain. In 2002, in Bagram, he confessed to being a member of Al Qaeda. He has never been convicted of any crime, or even brought to trial. This is his first-hand account of what forced that confession, a chronicle of terror, torture and rendition.
7pm – The Journey
After 40 years of “the troubles” in Northern Ireland the leading players meet at St. Andrews to try and hammer out a final and lasting peace agreement. The success of the talks depends on loyalist firebrand Ian Paisley and a former IRA Commander Martin McGuiness, two sworn enemies, agreeing to share power. With the talks in extreme crisis the pair are forced by circumstance, or perhaps fate, to take a car journey together.
9pm – Free Fire
Justine (Brie Larson) has brokered a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two Irishmen (Cillian Murphy, Michael Smiley) and a gang led by Vernon (Sharlto Copley) and Ord (Armie Hammer) who are selling them a stash of guns. But when shots fire during the handover, complete pandemonium ensues, with everyone at the scene suddenly thrust into a heart-stopping game of survival.
Saturday 18 Feb
5pm – London Town
After his father is injured in a work accident, Shay takes over driving his cab and one fateful night, picks up Joe Strummer (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), the lead singer of The Clash. Drawn into the heart of the city’s burgeoning punk scene, he forges two relationships that will change his life, falling in love with rebellious cool girl Vivian and finding an unexpected connection with Joe Strummer.
7pm – UNA
UNA follows a young woman’s journey to reclaim her past. Fifteen years earlier, Una ran away with an older man, Ray, a crime for which he was arrested and imprisoned. When she comes across a photo of him in a trade magazine, Una tracks him down and turns up at his workplace. Her abrupt arrival threatens to destroy Ray’s new life and derail her stability.
9pm – Their Finest
1940, London, the Blitz; with the country’s morale at stake, Catrin, an untried screenwriter, and a makeshift cast and crew, work under fire to make a film to lift the nation’s spirits and inspire America to join the war. A witty, romantic and moving portrayal of a young woman finding her way, and her voice, in the mayhem of war and the movies.
Sunday 19 Feb
5pm – Notes on Blindness
In 1983, after decades of steady deterioration, writer and theologian John Hull became totally blind. To help him make sense of the upheaval in his life, he began documenting his experiences on audio cassette. Following the Emmy Award-winning short film of the same name, Notes on Blindness takes a creative approach to the documentary form. Actors lip-synch to the voices of the family, embedding John’s original audio recordings within compelling cinematography and textured sound design. The result is a poetic and intimate story of loss, rebirth and transformation, documenting John’s extraordinary journey into ‘a world beyond sight’.
7pm – Adult Life Skills
Anna is stuck: she’s approaching 30, living like a hermit in her mum’s garden shed and wondering why the suffragettes ever bothered. She spends her days making videos using her thumbs as actors. A week before her birthday her Mum serves her an ultimatum – she needs to move out of the shed, get a haircut that doesn’t put her gender in question and stop dressing like a homeless teenager.
9pm – The Man from Mo’Wax
The Man from Mo’Wax tells the remarkable story of one of the most enigmatic yet influential figures in contemporary British culture. James Lavelle played his first DJ set at 14, launched pioneering record label Mo’Wax at 18 and released the genre defining UNKLE album Psyence Fiction at 22. Unearthed from over 700 hours of footage including exclusive personal archive spanning three decades, we get the rare opportunity to watch a boy become a man in the world of music. The result is an exhilarating, no holds-barred ride into the life of an extraordinary man and an equally extraordinary era.
All of the films will be shown in the cinema of the Kulturni Centar Beograda:
PlayUK is jointly organised by the British Council and DokuFest