Belfast, The Duke Set U.K. Release Dates Global Bulletin

RELEASE

Kenneth Branagh‘s “Belfast” and the late Roger Michell‘s “The Duke” will release theatrically in the U.K. on Jan. 21 and Feb. 25, 2022 respectively.

Featuring an ensemble cast, “Belfast” is an autobiographical story set in late 1960s Northern Ireland. It follows Buddy, a young boy on the cusp of adolescence, whose life is filled with familial love, childhood hijinks, and a blossoming romance. Yet, with his beloved hometown caught up in increasing turmoil, his family faces a momentous choice: hope the conflict will pass or leave everything they know behind for a new life.

The film won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and is an odds on favorite at the upcoming awards season.

Universal is giving “Belfast” a wide release of more than 300 screens.

Meanwhile, Pathe is also planning a wide release with more than 300 screens for “The Duke.” The film bowed at Venice in 2020 and also played Telluride and other festivals.

The comedy drama stars Oscar-winners Jim Broadbent (“Iris”) and Helen Mirren (“The Queen”). Set in 1961, the film follows Kempton Bunton, a 60-year-old taxi driver, who stole Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from London’s National Gallery. It was the first and only theft in the Gallery’s history. Kempton sent ransom notes promising to return the painting if the government invested more in care for the elderly.

AWARDS

The Asia Pacific Screen Awards have announced their non-juried prizes ahead of the main ceremony on Nov. 11, 2021. APSA’s Cultural Diversity Award under the patronage of UNESCO is awarded to Sri Lanka’s Prasanna Vithanage for “Children of the Sun” (aka “Gaadi”). Despite many previous APSA nominations for Sri Lankan films, this award marks the country’s first win. The Young Cinema Award in partnership with NETPAC and GFS is presented to Le Bao for his directorial debut “Taste” (aka “Vị”), marking the first APSA win for a film from Vietnam. The third is the FIAPF Award for Outstanding Contribution to Asia Pacific Cinema, which is awarded to prolific Russian producer, Sergey Selyanov (“Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan”). – Patrick Frater

PRODUCTION

The U.K.’s Noah Media Group and Sky Studios have commenced production on the first project under their multi-title development deal that was announced earlier this year – a feature documentary centred around the story of Formula One legends, Gilles Villeneuve and Didier Pironi, in collaboration with Sky Italia.

The film focuses on the infamous 1982 F1 season, where the two rival Ferrari teammates were competing for the World Title. However, on the final laps of the Italian Grand Prix, Pironi passed Villeneuve to win the race. To Didier this was a racing move. To Gilles, it was an unexpected act that went completely against the team orders he thought both drivers were obeying. It became known as “The Betrayal”. The two racers would never speak again.

The documentary has the participation of both families.

Ahead of a planned late 2022 release, filming locations include the U.K., Canada, France and Italy. The film will be directed by Torquil Jones (“Bobby Robson: More Than a Manager”) and produced by John McKenna (“Finding Jack Charlton”) as well as former Formula One driver Mark Webber. The film will premiere on Sky Documentaries and streaming service NOW in the U.K., Italy and Germany. NBCUniversal Global Distribution will handle international sales of the documentary on behalf of Sky Studios.


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