Launching its programme today, Britain’s only international comedy film festival declares ‘hope’ the theme for 2017
Thursday 4th – Sunday 7th May
LONDON – Tuesday 4th April 2017. The 6th LOCO London Comedy Festival celebrates international comedy cinema at BFI Southbank with a programme packed with big names, bold ideas and raw new talent.
At a time of global anxiety, the theme of this year’s festival is hope. Comedy is not a means of escaping the world, but of engaging with it better: it helps us meet the world with empathy, curiosity and kindness. Comedy’s heroes aren’t perfect. They’re foolish, flawed and often fail. But they’re also all taking a bet that the future, for all its perils, might be better – and that in dangerous times we should not look away, but ahead.
LOCO 2017 opens with the UK premiere of The Hippopotamus, based on Stephen Fry’s bestselling black comic novel and directed by John Jencks, starring Roger Allam, Tim McInnerny, Fiona Shaw, Matthew Modine, Emily Berrington and Russell Tovey.
The closing film is Every Brilliant Thing, a filmed version of the worldwide hit stage show about a young man dealing with his mother’s suicide attempts, followed by a conversation with its writer Duncan Macmillan (City of Glass, People, Places and Things) and co-writer and star Jonny Donahoe.
The LOCO Discovery Awards return for a sixth year, honouring British first time feature filmmakers. The 2017 nominees are: Mindhorn, directed by Sean Foley and starring Julian Barratt, Andrea Riseborough, Harriet Walter, Simon Farnaby, Essie Davis and Steve Coogan; Chubby Funny, directed, written by and starring Harry Michell, also starring Augustus Prew, Isabella Laughland and Alice Lowe; and Brakes directed and written by Mercedes Grower and starring Julian Barratt, Noel Fielding, Julia Davis, Kerry Fox, Steve Oram, Seb Cardinal and Kate Hardie.
LOCO celebrates new European cinema with the UK premieres of The Night My Mother Killed My Father (Spain), and We Used To Be Cool (Austria) + Q&A with director Marie Kreutzer: a social satire about hipsters becoming parents that LOCO will celebrate with its first ever Parent and Baby Premiere, in partnership with Raising Films.
There are also preview screenings of Aki Kaurismäki‘s refugee story The Other Side of Hope (Finland), which won Best Director at the Berlin Film Festival and Hanne Holm‘s Oscar-nominated A Man Called Ove (Sweden).
As Edgar Wright prepares to release his new film Baby Driver, LOCO celebrates the 10th anniversary of the second film in his Cornetto Trilogy Hot Fuzz with a special screening and Q&A with filmmakers and cast (line up tbc). The action comedy classic features an unmatched cast of British comedy stars including Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Olivia Coleman, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine and Rafe Spall.
LOCO’s mission is to kickstart the next generation of British comedy film-makers, and this year Kickstart Your Comedy Career returns for two days jam packed with interviews, workshops and masterclasses from the best in the business, to inspire emerging comedy writers and directors.
Further highlights of LOCO 2017 include three programmes of new British short films including the festival premiere of Bullet To The Heart, directed by Jon Drever and starring Brett Goldstein and Aisling Bea; Deeds Not Words, a celebration of the female stars of silent comedy with a new live score by The Lucky Dog Picturehouse; On the Internet Nobody Knows You’re a Clown, a special event showcasing some of online comedy’s rising stars curated by female film collective Sorta Kinda Maybe Yeah; Comedians Cinema Club bringing together some of the UK’s best comedians to create a hilarious improvised movie version of Hot Fuzz; and an exhibition honouring Betty Box and Peter Rogers for their contribution to British comedy as producers of the Doctor and Carry On series as well as many other classics.
Every feature film screening will be accompanied by a short film from Random Acts, Channel 4’s short film strand dedicated to the arts.
Denise Hicks, Director of The LOCO London Comedy Film Festival said, “I am delighted that the 6th LOCO London Comedy Film Festival returns to its home at the BFI Southbank, to present the world’s most original comedy films. Film, particularly comedy, is a powerful medium for telling stories that inspire hope, and we have programmed a variety of films that present hopeful stories in many different guises. There are premieres of brilliant new British comedies, new international comedies and three programmes of new British short films. We’re also thrilled to be presenting the 10th anniversary screening of Edgar Wright’s cult hit Hot Fuzz, a celebration of friendship as much as a skewering of the cop buddy movie genre. And if you’re keen to discover the next big thing in comedy cinema, be sure to get your tickets to the screenings of the LOCO Discovery Award nominated films: Sean Foley’s Mindhorn starring Julian Barratt, Mercedes Grower’s Brakes starring Noel Fielding and Harry Michell’s Chubby Funny starring Michell alongside Alice Lowe.”
D’Arcy Myers, CEO of The CTBF said: “We are thrilled to be partnered with The LOCO London Comedy Film Festival, who have once again assembled a tantalising programme of comedy films from the very best emerging British and international filmmakers. As The CTBF continues its commitment to supporting individuals working behind the scenes in film and television, it is incredibly exciting to be convening at London’s BFI Southbank for four days of recognising and celebrating the stunning array of talent at work in our thriving industries. Creators and the teams with whom they collaborate are the lifeblood of our industry, and we look forward to meeting the filmmakers and delegates at what promises to be another successful year for LOCO’s London Comedy Film Festival.”
Hughie Phillips, Managing Director of MindsEye, said, “We are really excited and proud to be partnered with the LOCO London Comedy Film Festival in its sixth year of life, and to discover more brilliant British comedy. We at MindsEye are dedicated to comedy, so working alongside LOCO and discovering the talents of newcomers, writers, directors and actors is something we are delighted to be involved with.”