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October 2011 25th Leeds International Film Festival announces complete Official Selection including Closing Gala Shame

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3rd – 20th November 2011


25th Leeds International Film Festival announces complete Official Selection including Closing Gala Shame

7th October 2011, Leeds, UK – The 25th Leeds International Film Festival today announces its full Official Selection programme including Closing Gala film Shame, directed by Steve McQueen and starring Michael Fassbender, which will close the Film Festival’s Official Selection on Friday 18th November.

Following McQueen’s critically-acclaimed directorial debut Hunger, also starring Fassbender, Shame follows Brendan (Fassbender) who plans his life around relentless sexual encounters until a visit from his wayward sister forces him to reassess his priorities. Screening courtesy of UK distributor Momentum Pictures, Shame has already garnered much critical-acclaim for Fassbender’s intensely stunning portrayal of Brendan at its screenings at Venice and Toronto International Film Festival. The announcement adds to LIFF25’s mounting excitement following the previously announced Opening Gala screening of BAFTA and Oscar-winning director Andrea Arnold’s bold new adaptation of Wuthering Heights.
Between the two Gala screenings, LIFF25 presents an Official Selection featuring the Golden Owl Competition: twelve UK premieres demonstrating strong potential for UK arthouse distribution. Films holding their UK premieres in LIFF25’s Official Selection after winning major international awards include The River Used to be a Man which screens fresh from director Jan Zabeil’s winning of the Kutxa-New Directors Award at San Sebastian Film Festival, and Nana, awarded the Locarno 2011 Opera Prima for Best First Film. Other features in the competition showing the vast variety to be found in new international cinema include dreamlike Irish murder story The Other Side of Sleep, Australian aboriginal docudrama Toomelah, and the latest gem from the Romanian new wave, Best Intentions.
Out of competition, preview screenings of new cinema from around the world include Take Shelter, a domestic drama/supernatural thriller blend starring Michael Shannon in his second collaboration with director Jeff Nichols (Shotgun Stories), and Béla Tarr’s The Turin Horse, recently announced as Hungary’s Oscar nomination for this year, and winner of both the Jury Grand Prix and the FIPRESCI prize at this year’s Berlinale. Tarr’s epic Sátántangó will also screen in its full 450 minute form in the Film Festival’s retrospective selection. Two of Rotterdam’s 2011 Tiger Award winners Finisterrae and Journals of Musan will also screen as part of the Official Selection.
Chris Fell, Director of Leeds International Film Festival said:

'We are thrilled to close the LIFF25 Official Selection with Steve McQueen's mesmerising Shame, featuring an unforgettable performance from Michael Fassbender. In a year rich with stunning new British films, Shame will be another powerful highlight of the Leeds 2011 programme that opens with Andrea Arnold's breathtaking Wuthering Heights on 3rd November.'

The full programme of the 25th Leeds International Film Festival including the complete Official Selection programme, genre cinema strand Fanomenon, documentary strand Cinema Versa, experimental cinema section Cherry Kino, and short film competition programme Short Film City, will be officially launched at Leeds Town Hall at 8pm on Friday 7th October, and will be available in full at

Notes to Editors:
Leeds International Film Festival:
Leeds International Film Festival is the largest regional film festival in the UK, showcasing the very best new cinema from around the world to an audience of 40,000. The LIFF25 programme sections are: Official Selection with new cinema discoveries, exclusive previews, archive specials and the Golden Owl competition; Fanomenon, the UK’s largest fantasy film celebration, including the Méliès d’Argent competition and the Thought Bubble Comic Convention; Cinema Versa, the Film Festival’s documentary section focusing on Human Rights, music, and live collaborations; Short Film City, dedicated to the short film form with UK and international competitions; and Cherry Kino, with experimental films by contemporary filmmakers as well as works from film history.
The 25th Leeds International Film Festival is presented by Leeds City Council and funded by the MEDIA Programme of the European Union, the British Film Institute, and Screen Yorkshire, with leading partners Kahlua, Kirkstall Brewery and Sierra Nevada, East Coast, twentysix Digital, Marketing Leeds and Vue Cinemas.

The full LIFF25 programme, including tickets and passes, will be available online from 7th October 2011., #LIFF25.
Festival programmes are available from Friday 7th October and special edition festival catalogues (limited run) will be available during the festival.
The Golden Owl Competition

The Golden Owl Competition originated in 2004, showcasing 10-15 new feature films from around the world, all UK or English premieres and all made by non-established directors, i.e. those who have not had their films distributed before in the UK. The competition is designed to provoke debate about the narrow distribution system of feature films in the UK. Feature scompeting the the 2011 competiion are:

22nd of May (22 Mei) Dir. Koen Mortier, Belgium, 2010
Best Intentions (Din dragoste cu cele mai bune intentii) Dir. Adrian Sitaru, Romania/Hungary, 2011

Fuerteventura Dir. Mattias Sandström, Sweden, 2010
The Gravedigger (A sírásó) Dir. Sándor Kardos, Hungary, 2010

Heat Wave (Après le Sud) Dir. Jean-Jacques Jauffret, France, 2011

Nana Dir. Valerie Massadian, France, 2011
New Jerusalem Dir. Rick Alverson, USA, 2011

The Other Side of Sleep Dir. Rebecca Daly, Ireland/Netherlands/Hungary, 2011

The Prize (El Premio) Dir. Paula Markovitch, Mexico/Farnce/Poland/Germany, 2011
The River Used to be a Man Der Fluss War Einst Ein Mensch Dir. Jan Zabeil, Germany, 2011

Summer of Goliath (Verano de Goliat) Dir. Nicolás Pereda, Mexico/Canada/Netherlands, 2010

Toomelah Dir. Ivan Sen, Australia, 2011

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