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Ali & Ava (15)

Clio Barnard’s acclaimed drama presents an intelligent, nuanced depiction of 21st-century Britain as it charts an unlikely romance between two Bradford residents.

Ali, an exuberant music enthusiast and landlord, is struggling to keep his recent separation from his wife a secret from his family. Ava is a pragmatic middle-aged teaching assistant and matriarch to a large, close-knit family. When a chance encounter unites them, the two begin a tentative friendship that quickly blossoms into an unexpected romance.

Deftly weaving together conventions of social realism and romantic drama, award-winning director Clio Barnard presents an intelligent, nuanced depiction of 21st-century Britain that addresses—among other issues—neurodiversity, race and class dynamics, and mental health. Authentic performances from Claire Rushbrook and Adeel Akhtar, combined with Barnard’s empathetic direction, make these everyday characters feel extraordinary.

Recorded Q&A: Selected screenings of Ali & Ava will be followed by a 30-minute pre-recorded Q&A featuring director Clio Barnard, producer Tracy O’Riordan and stars Claire Rushbrook and Adeel Akhtar interviewed by Ian Haydn Smith.

  • DIRECTOR: Clio Barnard
  • CAST:  Adeel Akhtar, Claire Rushbrook, Ellora Torchia, Shaun Thomas, Natalie Gavin

Part of the Science Museum Group