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Bradford-based film ‘Ali & Ava’ to have homecoming premiere on 14 October

The National Science and Media Museum’s Pictureville Cinema is set to host a special homecoming premiere of feature film Ali & Ava, written and directed by West Yorkshire’s Clio Barnard and set in and around Bradford.

The screening is a Special Presentation with the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, and hosted in partnership with Screen Yorkshire which part-financed the film.

Ali & Ava is screening at Pictureville Cinema on Thursday 14 October 2021 at 19.30 as part of The BFI 65th London Film Festival’s UK-wide preview events, with members of the cast and crew in attendance.

Filmed in and around the Bradford district, the film follows Ali, an exuberant music enthusiast and landlord struggling with the turmoil from the breakdown of his marriage. Ava is a pragmatic middle-aged teaching assistant and matriarch to a large and close-knit family, whose latest grandchild has just been born. When a chance encounter unites them, Ali and Ava begin a tentative friendship formed around their shared love of music that quickly blossoms into an unexpected romance.

Deftly weaving together conventions of social realism and romantic drama, Barnard presents an intelligent, warm and nuanced depiction of 21st-century Britain, a love story that touches upon, among other issues, race and class dynamics, neurodiversity and surviving domestic abuse. Bolstered by Claire Rushbrook and Adeel Akhtar’s authentic performances, Ali & Ava is a must-see. Barnard’s empathetic direction makes these everyday characters feel extraordinary.

Ali & Ava is written and directed by Clio Barnard, director of the critically acclaimed The Selfish Giant (2013) and documentary The Arbor (2010) which followed the life of Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar. The film is produced by Barnard’s long-term collaborator, Tracy O’Riordan.

Filmed and set in Bradford, Ali & Ava is financed by Screen Yorkshire, BBC Films and the BFI (awarding National Lottery funding).

Ali & Ava will receive its UK premiere on 13 October as the Mayor of London’s Special Presentation at the BFI 65th London Film Festival and will be released in the UK and Ireland by Altitude on 4 February 2022. For more information, visit the Altitude Films website.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said:

“It’s an honour to work with Screen Yorkshire in bringing this very special presentation of Ali & Ava to Bradford. I’m passionate about championing the power of the arts and creative industries in our region, and it’s wonderful to see how people in Bradford supported the making of the film and helped to make it such a success.

“Building on the momentum of Ali & Ava, I hope my Creative New Deal, which was launched earlier this year, will continue to put West Yorkshire talent at the heart of the creative industry, generating jobs and kickstarting local economies.”

Commenting on the special premiere at Pictureville Cinema, Kathryn Penny, Head of Screen and Cultural Engagement at the National Science and Media Museum, said:

“We are really honoured to have been chosen as a host venue for the Mayor of West Yorkshire’s Special Presentation of Ali & Ava which is set in the heart of the city we are proud to call our home. As with Clio Barnard’s previous works set in Bradford and West Yorkshire, we know this film will chime closely with the experience of our local communities and we can’t wait to welcome the cast and crew to experience the film alongside our audiences.”

Sally Joynson, Chief Executive at Screen Yorkshire, adds:

“We’re so pleased to be supporting another of Clio’s films. Thought-provoking, beautifully shot and with captivating performances from the cast, many of whom are from Bradford, Ali & Ava is a tender love story with Yorkshire at its heart. We can’t wait to share it with audiences in Bradford, where it was filmed, for this very special preview screening.”

Producer Tracy O’Riordan adds:

Ali & Ava is based on real people Clio and I got to know through making our previous films in Yorkshire and is a tribute to their generosity of spirit in sharing their stories and the love of their city. From cast, to crew, to locations, local people played an integral role, so a big thank you to the wonderful diverse local talent we found to work in front and behind the camera and the welcome we received. It’s very important to be screening the film in Bradford. It is going to be an exciting night as many of the cast and crew haven’t seen the film due to Covid, so it’s a wonderful opportunity for them to see their amazing hard work pay off.”

Tickets for the special preview screening of Ali & Ava on Thursday 14 October are now available to book via the National Science and Media Museum website.



For further information, images or interview requests, please contact Katie Canning, Communications Manager, National Science and Media Museum: / 01274 203 027

The National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, West Yorkshire, opened in 1983, and has since become one of the most visited UK museums outside London. The museum explores the science and culture of image and sound technologies, creating special exhibitions, interactive galleries and activities for families and adults. It is home to three cinemas, including Europe’s first IMAX cinema screen and the world’s only public Cinerama screen outside the USA. Entry to the museum is free.

About Screen Yorkshire

Screen Yorkshire champions the film, TV, games and digital industries in Yorkshire and the Humber, UK. Its aim is to secure and support the very best projects, companies and individuals, helping to make the region one of the most sought-after destinations for production in the UK.

Screen Yorkshire offers production financing through its Yorkshire Content Fund. Credits include: Ali & Ava, All Creatures Great and Small, Ackley Bridge, The Duke, Official Secrets, Hope Gap, Yardie, Ghost Stories, StarDog and TurboCat, Say Your Prayers, Journeyman, Dad’s Army, Swallows and Amazons, Testament of Youth, ’71, National Treasure, The Great Train Robbery, Peaky Blinders, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and Hank Zipzer.

Screen Yorkshire delivers the Film Office services for Yorkshire and the Humber, providing crew and locations support to productions filming in Yorkshire.

Screen Yorkshire has been supported by the BFI’s National Cluster Growth Fund using National Lottery funding to support the development and growth of the Yorkshire screen sector. Screen Yorkshire also works with ScreenSkills and local partners to develop regional talent and grow the skilled workforce by devising and delivering programmes that include Beyond Brontës, Connected Campus and Centre of Excellence: Yorkshire.

To find out more, visit the Screen Yorkshire website or follow @screenyorkshire on Twitter.

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