The Bristol-based producers of Bait may have to clear another space in their trophy cabinet. This low-budget hit (“A genuine modern masterpiece” – Mark Kermode), which has taken nearly £350,000 at the UK box office, has just been shortlisted in the Best British Film category of the prestigious 2019 Screen Awards. It’s very much the outsider, as the competition includes Rocketman and the Oscar-winning The Favourite. But this category, which was introduced last year, is decided by a public vote rather than by a panel of critics and industry types. Go here to cast your vote. As that great democrat Al Capone once said: “Vote early and vote often”. Though obviously we could not possibly condone such behaviour…
Also shortlisted is Bath’s Little Theatre Cinema, which is up for the Cinema of the Year (from a company with 25 screens or over) gong. The stiff competition in this category includes the Odeon Luxe Leicester Square.
New for 2019 is a Gamechanger category and FilmBath (formerly the Bath Film Festival) has been shortlisted for its revolutionary, ahead-of-its-time F-Rating. “Back in 2014, horrified by the continuing lack of female directors of feature films (fewer than 5% of the top 100), I founded the F-Rating as a Fairtrade-like stamp to guide audiences to films written and/or directed by women,” says FilmBath’s Executive Director Holly Tarquini. “My plan was that we would use this in the FilmBath Festival brochure – I had no idea how popular it would become. The F-Rating is now used by over 80 cinemas and film festivals, from the Barbican and Raindance Film Festival to the Irish Film Institute and IMDb. I’ve had so much wonderful feedback about the rating from audience members and film exhibitors alike.”
Running from November 7-17, this year’s 29th annual festival boasts 37 features and 46 short films as well as industry events and awards taking place in seven venues around Bath. An impressive 59% of the films in the programme are directed by women. These include Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire (November 9), Tamara Kotevska’s Honeyland (November 13), and Teona Strugar Mitevska’s God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya (November 12).
Among the festival’s other highlights are previews of Aussie zombie comedy Little Monsters (pictured above – November 9); upcoming controversy-magnet Jojo Rabbit, starring Scarlett Johansson (November 17), and veteran Brit documentarian Kim Longinotto’s portrait of octogenarian Italian photojournalist Letizia Battaglia, Shooting the Mafia (November 11).
Go here for the full FilmBath festival programme. The 2019 Screen Awards winners will be announced in a ceremony at the Ballroom Southbank, London, on November 28.
Read more: Gimme an F!