November 28: Please note that we have been informed that due to Kent being ranked in Tier 3 of the Covid restrictions, A Christmas Carol will now not be shown. We would imagine the same might apply to Lost at Christmas though it will be available on digital from December 7.
We want to draw your attention to two films with strong Christmas themes which are due to start showing on Wednesday December 4*. One will be out for a few days before going digital; the other will not go digital in a bid to give support to beleaguered cinemas and theatres in the UK. Both look very promising in their different ways. We urge you to give the trailers included here a whirl.
Blue Finch Film Releasing and Magic Monkey Films have announced that they are bringing Christmas cheer to the UK early with Lost At Christmas which, they claim, is the first traditional Christmas movie from Scotland.
Directed by Bafta nominee Ryan Hendrick, the film is based on the acclaimed short film Perfect Strangers and features an incredible cast including: Sylvester McCoy (Dr Who/The Hobbit), Natalie Clark (The Last Bus), Kenny Boyle and Sanjeev Kohli (Still Game) and Clare Grogan (Gregory’s Girl) to name a few.
Lost At Christmas is set in the remote Scottish town of Fort William, on Christmas Eve, when life is turned upside down for Jen (Natalie Clark) and Rob (Kenny Boyle). Suddenly finding themselves heartbroken, single and stranded, they team up to try and reach home 100 miles away to be with their families. “Borrowing” Jen’s now ex-boyfriend’s classic car, the pair hit the road, but it’s not long before the weather turns for the worse, forcing them to continue their journey on foot.
Bickering and bonding across the snowy moors of Glencoe, they eventually arrive at a remote inn where they meet other guests dead set on avoiding the traditional Christmas joy. However, as Christmas Day draws closer, will happiness emerge and draw Jen and Rob together?
Lost at Christmas will bring you in from the cold, lighten your heart and provide the ultimate feel-good Christmas cinema experience.
Director Ryan Hendrick said: “I am beyond thrilled our festive heart-warmer is heading out into the world. It was a thrill to make and be surrounded by such a group of talented artists.”
Lost at Christmas will be released in UK cinemas from December 4 and on digital from December 7.
Star-studded A Christmas Carol launch delayed
Frith Street Films has announced that its new retelling of A Christmas Carol, which was set for release on November 27 will now be showing in theatres and cinemas from December 4. The film will not be released digitally in a bid to support struggling venues.
Simon Russell Beale, Martin Freeman, Carey Mulligan, Daniel Kaluuya and Andy Serkis lend their voices to the tale, while dance performances are led by former Royal Ballet soloist and BalletBoyz founder Michael Nunn as Scrooge, Jakub Franasowicz, Russell Maliphant, Karl Fagerlund Brekke, Mikey Boats, Grace Jabbari and Dana Fouras.
A Christmas Carol follows a Victorian family as they prepare a toy-theatre for their annual performance of A Christmas Carol. The audience enters the imagination of one of the children and quickly the cardboard stage transforms to reveal a magical world containing real dancers and stylised sets. The tale unfolds on screen in a rich tapestry of highly absorbing, haunting and theatrical drama with characters portrayed by dancers and voiced by an eclectic cast of incredible actors. The mix of dance action and spoken narration brings a completely new and exciting dimension to Dickens’ characters while remaining true to the original narrative.
Behind A Christmas Carol are two of the most exciting and creative British filmmakers today. Sibling directors Jacqui and David Morris first shot to prominence with their 2013 debut, the double Bafta-nominated McCullin. Their Grierson award winning film Attacking the Devil followed in 2016, highlighting the ground-breaking investigative work of the late Sir Harold Evans during the thalidomide scandal. Their third film, Nureyev, lifted the curtain on one of the world’s most iconic ballet dancers.
With pantomime season all but cancelled, the dual approach to release is to support both cinema and theatre industries during a time of financial hardship generated by the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement of a second lockdown has not changed their approach towards the release of such an inherently theatrical film, best enjoyed on the big screen. Both directors see the release and supporting local cinemas and theatres as an inherent part of the importance of this film and its 2020 release.
Director and producer Jacqui Morris said: “My career started working backstage in the theatre. Theatre continues to inspire and influence my work as a filmmaker today and I have been devastated by the situation theatres face. Our version of A Christmas Carol offers an immersive, theatre-like experience for families both in cinema and theatres, will delight to those missing out on live dance and pantomime this festive season. I am thrilled to offer theatres a chance to screen the film to help raise funds and keep doors ajar until patrons can return in full capacity.”
She added: “David and I are committed to releasing A Christmas Carol in cinemas this year. I know lots of films are delaying their release, and It’s a very difficult decision filmmakers have to make, but we are in the fortunate position of having made a perennial film, and as theatres and cinemas are in such dire straits at the moment, we want to be as supportive as we can.”
Choreography is by Southbank award-winner and associate artist of Sadlers Wells, Russell Maliphant. Design is by Darko Petrovic, famed for his unique blend of high artistry and diverse contemporary style and the score is by Tony Award nominee, Alex Baranowski.
Audiences will be able to catch A Christmas Carol in cinemas and select theatre venues nationwide from December 4. Listings are available here: https://www.achristmascarol2020.film/?country=united-kingdom. We believe the Gulbenkian in Canterbury is one of the venues.
*Given uncertainty about any dates please confirm your plans with the venue before travelling. This applies to both films.