Opening Night Gala


Sarah Gavron (Brick Lane, Village at the End of the World) returns to the festival with an intense drama that traces the story of the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement.

The Opening Night Gala at 19:00 at Odeon Leicester Square will be accompanied by a parallel screening of the film at 19:45 at Vue West End.

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Director Sarah Gavron
Producers Faye Ward, Alison Owen
Screenwriter Abi Morgan
With Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne-Marie Duff, Brendan Gleeson, Ben Whishaw, Meryl Streep
UK 2015
106 mins
UK distribution Pathé UK

Director Sarah Gavron (Brick Lane, Village at the End of the World) returns to the Festival with an intense drama that traces the story of the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement as they fought for the right to vote. Maud (Carey Mulligan) has worked hard and exploitative hours in the same factory job since she was a girl; her only respite is the affection of her husband (Ben Whishaw) and their sweet young son. When her deepening friendships with fellow worker Violet (Anne-Marie Duff) and activist Edith Ellyn (Helena Bonham Carter) fuel her sense of injustice, she commits to the suffrage cause. Maud joins at the same time that the movement becomes more radical and violent, spurred on by the rousing leadership of Emmeline Pankhurst (Meryl Streep) and in reaction to the increasingly hostile interventions of the state. In joining the fight for equality, she unites with women who risk their jobs, their homes, their children and their lives. Gavron and award-winning writer Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady, Shame) make strong and decisive dramatic choices by giving presence to the women that history remembers – Pankhurst and Emily Davison (Natalie Press) – while pivoting the story on an everywoman whose experience stands in for the many activists whose names have been lost, but whose actions have prevailed. Mulligan is transfixing in the central role, bringing vulnerability and strength to a character whose story is both heartbreaking and inspirational. Universal in its themes, yet London-specific in setting, this is the first British film for which the Houses of Parliament opened its doors as a location. With the centennial of women garnering the vote in the UK approaching, the time to remember suffrage is definitely now.

Clare Stewart

Opening Night Around the UK

Audiences around the UK will have the exclusive chance to see Opening Night red carpet footage and interviews with the film’s creators beamed live by satellite into their local cinema, followed by a special preview screening of Suffragette. Check back soon for more information.

Tickets will be available via Show Film First from 10am on Wednesday 30 September on a first come first served basis, and subject to availability.

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