2018-05-04 22:26:43[UPDATES]

The Century of Cinema and Women: British Films + Female Writers


With women's voices growing louder and louder in all walks of life, women's right to work and space for expression have also become common concerns in the film industry. 2018 will also witness the booming of outstanding female filmmakers. This is the years for new and established female practitioners to blossom and yield fruit, both at home and abroad.

In June 2018, the Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) will work with the British Council to organize special events which put female creators in spotlight. Among them, the “British • Women • Literature Film” program will present to Chinese audience a number of specially selected works that showcase British women’s accomplishments in literature and cinema.




Most of these works are directed by well-known contemporary female directors, such as Sally POTTER, Lynne RAMSAY and Andrea ARNOLD. Some works are contributed by females at their conception stage, such as the SENSE AND SENSIBILITY written and performed by Emma THOMPSON, and WUTHERING HEIGHTS where Olivia HETREED has brought in the perception of modern women; some works are encompassed with women's consciousness, reflection, life insights and experience, such as AN EDUCATION, the come-of-age story of female reporter Lynn BARBER, and A TASTE OF HONEY, a gifted work compiled by female dramatist Shelagh DELANEY when she was 19...

Of course, these works also star many well-known actresses including Tilda SWINTON, Carey MULLIGAN, Kate WINSLET, Rita TUSHINGHAM and more.




Among them, the one of particular interest is the new work YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE by Lynne RAMSAY, one of the most important female directors in modern UK.

An unfinished version of the film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in competition last year, where Ramsay won the Best Screenplay award and Joaquin PHOENIX the award for Best Actor. Based on the short novel by Jonathan AMES, the film is starred by Phoenix. It is a revenge story of a killer and a girl. The seemingly ordinary rescue has indeed shocked the audience with complicated and confusing plot and striking audio-visual effects.

The British female director, who has long been acclaimed as a genius, has broken through conventions and rendered YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE a poetic and experimental film with unique audiovisual style.




When we open our eyes to the whole world, we can see more female directors, screenwriters, writers, and authors in other positions are writing about their world with their own intuition, speculation, perspective, and approach.

In addition, SIFF has also invited a number of influential female filmmakers to serve as judges in competition programs and attend panorama. Thanks to the platform provided by SIFF, the audience will be able to enjoy these excellent female creations in the theater.




On the occasion, SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, the winner of the Golden Bear at the 46th Berlin International Film Festival will also be released in 4K restored version. Its cinematographic style featuring the texture of oil paintings will definitely offer a wonderful visual feast to the audience.



Directed by: Lynne RAMSAY

Written by: Lynne RAMSAY/ Jonathan AMES

Starring: Joaquin PHOENIX/ Ekaterina SAMSONOV/ Alessandro NIVOLA


It is a thriller film written and directed by Lynne RAMSAY, based on the book of the same name by Jonathan AMES. Joe, performed by Joaquin PHOENIX, turns into a hired gun from a combat veteran. After several violent actions, the wounds in his childhood are gradually uncovered.

The film was honored Best Actor and Best Screenplay at the 70th Cannes Film Festival.

Lynne RAMSAY, British female director, screenwriter and cinematographer. She participated in the making of documentary films as a cinematographer in the early years. In 1996, she produced her first short film, which won the Jury Prize of Best Short Film at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998. Her debut feature RATCATCHER premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the Un Certain Regard Award.




Directed by: Andrea ARNOLD

Written by: Emily BRONTË/ Olivia HETREED

Starring: Kaya SCODELARIO/ Nichola BURLEY/ Steve EVETS/ Oliver MILBURN

The movie is based on Emily BRONTË's 1847 novel Wuthering Heights, which depicts an intricate love story that takes place in the farmhouse named Wuthering Heights: the owner Mr. Earnshaw adopts the homeless boy Heathcliff, who later falls in love with the former's daughter Catherine; a bizarre entanglement intertwined with desire and romance thus starts.

Olivia HETREED is a British screenwriter, known for film works such as GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING and FINDING ALTAMIRA. In 2003, she received a BAFTA nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for adapting GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING into the film of the same name, which was also the nominee for Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction at the 76th Academy Awards in 2004.

Andrea ARNOLD is an English filmmaker. She won an Academy Award for her short film WASP in 2005. In 2006, her debut feature film RED ROAD was honored the Jury Prize at the 59th Cannes Film Festival.




Directed by: Lone SCHERFIG

Written by: Lynn BARBER/ Nick HORNBY

Starring: Carey MULLIGAN/ Peter SARSGAARD/ Alfred MOLINA


AN EDUCATION is a film based on a memoir of the same name by British journalist Lynn BARBER. As the winner of the Audience Choice award and the Cinematography award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, the film was also nominated for three Academy Awards in 2010: Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actress.

The movie tells the story of a schoolgirl being deceived by a charming older man and being forced to learn the complex rules of the adult world.

Lone SCHERFIG is a Danish film director and screenwriter who has been widely acclaimed for several of her movies, including AN EDUCATION, WILBUR WANTS TO KILL HIMSELF and JUST LIKE HOME. Her film ITALIAN FOR BEGINNERS won the Jury Grand Prix Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.


SENSE AND SENSIBILITY 4K Restored Version (1995)


Directed by: Ang LEE

Written by: Emma THOMPSON/ Jane AUSTEN



SENSE AND SENSIBILITY is based on British female writer Jane AUSTEN’s classic novel of the same name.

The Oscar-winning actress Emma THOMPSON has an English degree at Newnham College, Cambridge. In assisting Ang LEE with presenting women’s marriage thinking in the Victorian age, she received the 68th Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Emma THOMPSON, is a British actress and screenwriter. In her acting career, she has starred in a number of TV dramas and films. For the movie HOWARDS END, she grasped the 1992 Academy Award for Best Actress, and the Best Actress in a Leading Role at the 46th British Academy Film (BAFTA) Awards.




Directed by: Sally POTTER

Written by: Sally POTTER/ Virginia WOOLF

Starring: Tilda SWINTON/ Billy ZANE/ Quentin CRISP/ John BOTT


ORLANDO is loosely based on the novel of Virginia Woolf, one of the most important modernist 20th-century authors and a pioneer in feminism.

The novel has created a magical character who never grows old. He travels through the British history of hundreds of years, and finally completes the awakening of gender and individuality. With marvelous plots in harmony with compelling audiovisual and artistic effects, it has captivated countless female audiences.

Sally POTTER is an English film director and screenwriter. She began shooting films when she was a teenager and has so far directed eight feature films, multiple short films, a television series and several operas. In 1992, Potter received greater appreciation for her direction in ORLANDO, and her works began to be known by more people. Till now, the established filmmaker has won more than 40 international awards, as well as numerous nominations for Academy Awards and BAFTA Awards.




Directed by: Tony RICHARDSON

Written by: Shelagh DELANEY/ Tony RICHARDSON

Starring: Dora BRYAN/ Robert STEPHENS/ Rita TUSHINGHAM/ Murray MELVIN


A TASTE OF HONEY is an exemplar of kitchen sink realism blending with Free Cinema, adapted from the play of the same name by Shelagh Delaney, the noted female English dramatist. It is her first play written when she was 19 years old.

The play A TASTE OF HONEY is regularly staged in British theaters. The cinema version was completed three years after the debut, which made Tushingham and Melvin Best Actress and Actor at the 1962 Cannes Film Festival.

Shelagh DELANEY was an English screenwriter. The film CHARLIE BUBBLES written by her in 1967 entered the main competition of Palme d'Or at the 21st Cannes Film Festival. In 1985, her another work DANCE WITH A STRANGER won the Award of the Youth – Foreign Film at the 38th Cannes Film Festival.




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