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British filmmakers and stars preview Cannes 2014

Actors Dominic West, Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton discuss their film Pride ahead of its closing slot at directors’ fortnight in Cannes Film Festival. Timothy Spall talks about Mr Turner, Mike Leigh’s film about iconic British painter J.M.W Turner and Minister for Culture Ed Vaizey MP explains the festival’s importance.

Transcript

Ben Roberts

We're here to celebrate all the British films that are heading to the Cannes Film Festival next week. Not just the BFI Film Fund backed films, but everything that's going, and have a sort of collective warm hug before we all depart for the market.

Ed Vaizey MP

Cannes is the biggest film festival in the world. Obviously, the London Film Festival competes vigorously with Cannes, but Cannes is the sort of signature event and it's where the world comes to kind of see which films are coming out, what's going to make a big splash. So, it's important that we showcase our best and it's great, for example, that Pride is the closing film for Directors Fortnight.

Dominic West

Pride is a brilliant new British film about the unlikely alliance of the gays and the lesbians, and the miners during the miners' strike in 1983.

Imelda Staunton

We are talking about the miners' strike, we're talking about Thatcher, we're talking about gays and lesbians. It's a really important and very moving film, I think.

Bill Nighy

It's a wonderful thing that we've been chosen to be the closing film at Cannes. It's directed by Matthew Warchus. It's got a brilliant cast, of quite a lot of young people, who have maybe not been in a movie before. It was an adorable job and I had a really good time, and that's not PR.

Ben Roberts

We have Mike Leigh's new film, Mr. Turner, and Mike has joined us, very graciously, this morning.

Mike Leigh

Mr. Turner is a film about the last 25 years of Turner's life. Who's Turner? Our greatest painter, greatest British painter. I wanted to make a film about Turner for a long time, a radical, eccentric, extraordinary character who made this epic, poetic, brilliant, fantastic work. But a flawed personality, a great character to explore.

Timothy Spall

His life, his loves, his fears, his losses, the beauty of his work, the incongruity of the fact that he was a bit like me. A strange, funny looking little bloke who happened to be a genius. I'm not taking credit for the second part of that statement, but that's what he was.

Ben Roberts

There's lots of festivals throughout the year, but Cannes is still the one that the world looks to as setting the highest bar.

Ed Vaizey MP

It's important that we're seen at Cannes and that people understand how well the British film industry's doing.

Ben Roberts

It's a real moment of, kind of, celebration for cinema, and obviously as a national cinema you want to have a very visible presence in that, and this year we really do.

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