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Today at the Into Film Festival students across London got the chance to meet two hugely experienced British actors: Imelda Staunton and Lesley Manville. The two stalwarts of the industry were at the Everyman Screen on the Green to answer questions after a screening of modern-day fairytale Maleficent, in which they play mischievous fairies Flittle and Knotgrass.
The film is part of our Anti-Bullying - Heroes strand at the festival, focusing on films that look at characters who band together to stand up against the bullies in their world. Selected to coincide with this year's Anti-Bullying Week, when quizzed about the themes of bullying in the film, Imelda spoke of the need for people to be brave saying: "People who aren't being bullied need to stand up and help people who they think are".
Maleficent wasn't what I expected, I remember I used to watch the cartoon and heard a lot about the story, and it was so different I really liked it the Q&A was really interesting.Javincia, Barnet and Southgate College
Imelda and Lesley also spoke about the privilege of being able to film big budget Hollywood films in state-of-the-art studios right here in Britain, such as Shepperton or Pinewood. Lesley went on to say that Britain has some of the most technically skilled people in the world in terms of behind-the-camera disciplines like sound, lighting and visual effects, and that the nation is highly regarded in the film industry worldwide.
Another interesting thread of discussion came after both Imelda and Lesley, both veterans of stage as well as screen, were asked what the differences were between acting on both. Imelda was keen to highlight the role of the editor in the filmmaking process, saying that through something as simple as a quick cut, or a slightly longer take, they can manipulate an actor's performance to get the best result on screen. Thanks to these esteemed performers for their fascinating insight into the world of film.