The screening, which was the film’s Northern Irish premiere, received two rounds of rapturous applause from the audience on Friday night. Colette, which sees Keira Knightley give a remarkable performance as the eponymous feminist author who defies both her husband and societal gender expectations to fight for creative ownership, was the perfect film to kick off the festival programme, as this year’s theme is Voices. The programme contains over 100 films, eclectic in scope and theme, which in one way or another, give voice to those who historically have been excluded from narratives. Edwin Thomas, acclaimed actor and star of The Happy Prince and ITV’s Victoria was also in attendance, alongside his Dad Michael, to add an extra touch of glamour to the evening’s proceedings.
The festival looks ahead to a dynamic 10 day programme, including many more premieres, features and documentaries, in addition to Q&As with notable special guests including Ed Moloney and Vanessa Redgrave. The Light in Motion Competition, which also kicks off this weekend, will run for the duration of the festival. The competition, which is Academy® Award affiliated, has gained international recognition and a reputation for nurturing emerging film-makers. Previous winners and competitors who have proceeded to win the Oscar® include Martin McDonagh for Six Shooter (2006) and Andrea Arnold for Wasp (2004).
Festival director Bernie McLaughlin, said ‘Thanks to everyone who attended our packed screening of Colette on the Opening Night of the 31st Foyle Film Festival. It is fantastic to have such great local support and to welcome Edwin Thomas, star of Rupert Everett's critically acclaimed The Happy Prince, who helped us launch the festival in style.
Foyle Film Festival is funded by the Department for Communities through Northern Ireland Screen, Derry City and Strabane District Council and Tourism Northern Ireland. The Festival acknowledges the ongoing support of City of Derry Crystal, and venue partner Brunswick Moviebowl.
For more details and bookings, go to foylefilmfestival.org
Photographs by Lorcan Doherty