Supernatural Noël Coward comedy Blithe Spirit will open the 2020 British Film Festival

Across 22 films with countless great stars, the 2020 British Film Festival is giving us a perfectly pragmatic and very British approach to cinema-going in this hectic year: ‘keep calm and carry on!’

After a year of scattered cinema releases and disappointing postponements, at least you can count on Palace’s BFF to bring great true stories, literary adaptations, comedies and documentaries to audiences in major Australian cities. This year’s opening film looks especially charming too, starring Dan Stevens, Isla Fisher, Leslie Mann and Dame Judi Dench in a riotous adaptation of Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit.

You can check out the full lineup of films via BFF’s website, but Blithe Spirit looks like a great place to start. Stevens plays a clueless writer who calls on Judi Dench’s medium to conduct a seance as inspiration for his upcoming screenplay. But when the seance summons Mann, Stevens’ late first-wife, he and his new wife Isla Fisher must find a way to get the genie back in the bottle to keep their marriage (and the new screenplay’s production!) afloat.

Other terrific titles include the period romance Ammonite, the feminist comedy Misbehaviour which stars Keira Knightley and Jessie Buckley as 1970s protestors disrupting the Miss World pageant, and Rockfield: The Studio On The Farm, about a legendary rural recording studio that helped along Ozzy Osbourne, Queen, Oasis and Coldplay.

There’s also restored editions of British favourites such as The Ladykiller and The Elephant Man, as well as camp classic Flash Gordon. Even the most uninitiated moviegoers might be tempted to BFF‘s opening night receptions, at which guests can enjoy London dry gin cocktails, Eton Mess choc-tops and live 1930’s swing music!

Find your tickets and session times via BFF’s website.

And here’s a summary of information about festival screening locations below. Jolly good show, old chap!

The British Film Festival presented by Palace screens in the following locations:
Sydney: 10 – 29 Nov, Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinemas, Palace Central Canberra: 10 – 29 Nov, Palace Electric Cinemas
Melbourne: *November dates TBA, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth, Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Kino Cinema
Brisbane: 10 – 29 Nov, Palace Barracks and Palace James Street
Adelaide: 10 – 29 Nov, Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas, Palace Nova Prospect Cinemas
Perth: 10 – 29 Nov, Palace Raine Square, Luna on SX, Leederville and Windsor
Byron Bay: 10 – 29 Nov, Palace Byron Bay

* The 2020 British Film Festival dates for Melbourne will be confirmed as soon as cinemas can safely re- open.