Asif Kapadia, who has directed films including Senna and Far North, has been commissioned for the Festival as part of a BBC Films and Film4 project that showcases UK filmmaking talent. His new film, titled The Odyssey, will receive a world premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on 24 June.
As part of the London 2012 Festival taking place from 21 June – 9 September 2012, Twentieth Century Fox and the BFI will release a digitally remastered version of multi Oscar-winner Chariots of Fire, enabling a whole new generation to enjoy the Olympic film classic on the big screen.
The BFI will also present Alfred Hitchcock’s early silent British masterpieces in a series of spectacular one-off screenings across London, with newly commissioned scores performed live by contemporary British music talent.
On television, BBC Two will present a series of Shakespearean plays including Richard II, Henry IV Part I and Part II and Henry V featuring an all-star cast including Jeremy Irons, Ben Wishaw and Tom Hiddleston. On the same channel, 'Britain In A Day' will be an ambitious nationwide project to capture a day in the life of Britain using footage shot entirely by the public.
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said: ‘Our brilliant film industry lies at the very heart of the UK’s cultural landscape and it is fitting that the London 2012 Festival is celebrating our fantastic cinematic achievements with this exciting film programme.’
As part of the London 2012 Festival film programme, thousands of young people are already participating in learning new skills through Film Nation:Shorts. Thirty short films made by 14–25 year olds from across the UK have been selected to be screened at iconic venues during the Games. London 2012 Festival organisers have confirmed that BFI Southbank will host the final Film Nation:Shorts Awards Ceremony on 4 July.
Elsewhere, children’s BAFTA winner and Guinness World Record-holding film The Itch of the Golden Nit has been dreamt up by over 34,000 children across the UK, brought together by Tate and the creative magic of Aardman Animation. The film will be screened during the London 2012 Festival across the UK during a series of special family events.
Ruth Mackenzie, London 2012 Festival Director, said: ‘The film programme for the London 2012 Festival not only showcases the UK’s leading talent but importantly, when the eyes of the world are on us, gives a platform for young and emerging filmmakers to showcase their work on a world stage.’