Kenneth Branagh helps us celebrate Shakespeare on Film

11 Apr 2016

5 mins
Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
Much Ado About Nothing (1993)

April 23rd marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death, and to honour the occasion the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) is hosting Britain's biggest ever celebration of Shakespeare on film, with over 300 events taking place across the UK, highlighting the enormous impact the playwright's life, work, and legacy has had on cinema - a celebration that we're proud to support with our own uniquely tailored youth-focused materials.

The project is led by Film Hub London, working in partnership with the BFI, Into Film, and film Hubs from across the UK, and one of the major Shakespeare on Film events will be a screening of Henry V at Belfast's Queen's Film Theatre, accompanied by a Q&A with the film's director and Into Film ambassador Kenneth Branagh, which will be beamed live to 70+ cinemas across the UK. Preceding this event, we will be screening Much Ado About Nothing - another of Kenneth Branagh's Shakespeare adaptations - for young people in from the area, after which, through his role as our Northern Ireland Ambassador, Kenneth Branagh will also take part in a special Q&A session for the audience of young Into Film members present.

The event will consist of an ‘in conversation' session led by Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, who will also invite young people in the audience to put their own questions to Kenneth Branagh. The Q&A will be filmed for use as an educational resource and have Shakespeare on Film elements incorporated to be used as part of this year's Into Film Festival in November.

It's a real privilege to be returning with Henry V - the first Shakespeare feature I directed, to the Queen's Film Theatre in my home city, as part of this wonderful celebration of Shakespeare's life, work and legacy on screen. The fact that Film London has organised the event so that will be beamed live to cinemas across the UK is particularly exciting.

Kenneth Branagh, director, actor, Into Film Ambassador, and patron of Film London’s own Shakespeare on Screen initiative.

Shakespeare might have been a man of the theatre but his work offers endless possibilities to film-makers. Somehow the power of his stories, characters, his all too human resonant and relevant themes of power, politics, family, romance, tragic conflict and joyous comedy, manages to transcend barriers of time and the English language such that specific cultural settings can be interpreted by filmmaking artists, in all different kinds of locations, contexts and languages. I am hugely grateful to the BFI and FAN for working in partnership with Film London to deliver this wealth of Shakespeare programming and activity around the whole of the UK.

Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission.

As part of the activity to mark the Bard's quartercentenary, Into Film are working in partnership with a number of organisations, also including the TES, BFI Education, and the V&A to further support the Shakespeare celebrations. This includes a series of 'Reel to Real' screenings at the V&A Museum, which allow young people to explore relevant collections after viewing films, to a plethora of Shakespeare focused education resources.

Visit our Shakespeare page to gain access to all of our related resources and Shakespeare activities.

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