Screen Yorkshire-backed Hope Gap and Official Secrets to screen at BFI London Film Festival

Hollywood star Annette Bening in Yorkshire during the filming of Hope Gap. Picture: Marie Caley.
Hollywood star Annette Bening in Yorkshire during the filming of Hope Gap. Picture: Marie Caley.

Screen Yorkshire-backed feature films have been selected to screen at the BFI London Film Festival.

Hope Gap, which stars Annette Bening and Bill Nighy and shot in Leeds and Doncaster, and Official Secrets, fronted by Keira Knightley and which again in Leeds and in Bradford, will appear at the event between October 2 to 13.

Keira Knightley, star of upcoming Official Secrets, with her OBE medal. Credit: Victoria Jones/PA.

Keira Knightley, star of upcoming Official Secrets, with her OBE medal. Credit: Victoria Jones/PA.

The Screen Yorkshire agency, based on Calls in Leeds, supported both productions with its Yorkshire Content Fund.

It comes as a further boost to the region's screen industry credentials after it was announced earlier this month that Armando Iannucci's film The Personal History of David Copperfield, which was partly filmed in Hull, would have its European premiere at the festival.

The 63rd British Film Institute's London Film Festival (LFF) will present 229 feature films from some of the world’s greatest filmmakers and emerging talent.

For 12 days the LFF will "celebrate the diverse landscape of international cinema, showcasing films set to entertain and inspire, provoke debate and tackle the urgent issues of our time," said organisers.

Amanda Nevill, CEO of BFI, said: "At this moment when the UK is adapting and reshaping our place in the world, the BFI London Film Festival really underlines the soft power of the art of film and showcases the dynamism of global exchange and partnership.

"All the BFI’s cultural programmes, from BFI Southbank to BFI Player, have sought to be an active champion at the heart of the global cinema story and this year’s LFF does this so powerfully with its incredibly rich and diverse programme and the international filmmaking community who love being here."

Family drama Hope Gap, which also stars Josh O'Connor, filmed at Prime Studios in Kirkstall Road, Leeds, in summer 2018 during its five-week shoot and will be showcased as one of eleven Headline Galas during the festival.

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After shooting finished, line producer Karl Hall said: "Having used Prime Studios in the past for several feature film and TV projects, it was the obvious choice for us to use for filming when in Leeds. The service and facilities available on site are second to none and it is always a pleasure for both the cast and crew. Prime Studios are helpful, understand what it takes to make a production run smoothly and offer a facility that ticks all of the boxes."

Production also went to Doncaster and the eponymous Hope Gap in Seaford, Sussex.

It was directed by two-time Oscar-nominated British screenwriter William Nicholson (Gladiator, Shadowlands), OBE, FRSL, director, playwright and novelist, who directs from his own script.

Gavin Hood’s Official Secrets will screen as part of the festival's Strand Gala selections.

The film, based on a true story, stars two-time Oscar-nominated actress Keira Knightley as courageous Katharine Gun, who leaked a top-secret National Security Agency memo, putting her life and career on the line and changing the course of modern history.

Matt Smith also stars alongside two-time Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes and Matthew Goode.

It filmed in Leeds city centre, Chapel Allerton, Roundhay, Boston Spa, Otley Police Station, Bradford City Hall, Shipley, Keighley and Robin Hood Airport, Doncaster and the Northern Film & TV Studios in Goldthorpe, South Yorkshire.