Testament of Youth opens the 28th Leeds International Film Festival (LIFF28) on Wednesday 5th November, with very special guests James Kent (director) and Rosie Alison (producer) in attendance. Backed by Screen Yorkshire and filmed primarily in the region, Testament of Youth is the first big screen adaptation of Vera Brittain’s iconic and powerful WW1 memoir. Irrepressible and free-minded, Vera Brittain overcomes the prejudices of her family and hometown to win a scholarship to Oxford. With everything to live for, she falls in love with her brother’s close friend Roland Leighton as they go to university to pursue their literary dreams. But war is looming and everything will change. From award-winning television director James Kent, Testament of Youth stars Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Dominic West and Emily Watson.
LIFF28’s Opening Night will be a double Yorkshire spectacular of particular interest to fans of the festival’s Fanomenon horror and cult film strand, as we follow Testament of Youth with the World Premiere of The Taking. Two market stall holders’ dreams of opening a tea room are shattered when they fall foul of a sociopathic loan shark in this intense new thriller directed by Dominic Brunt, who will make a special guest appearance along with cast members. Known foremost for his role as Paddy on ITV’s Emmerdale, Brunt is an emerging filmmaking talent with a penchant for suspense.
Catch Me Daddy and X+Y, two other films which were supported with investment from Screen Yorkshire’s Yorkshire Content Fund also feature at the festival. Cast and crew will be in attendance for Cannes Film Festival selection Catch Me Daddy, a remarkable and visceral chase thriller by Daniel Wolfe (the award-winning director of Plan B’s music videos), in which a girl on the run from her family is hiding out in West Yorkshire when her brother arrives in town with a vicious gang to track her down. British screen favourite Sally Hawkins and Asa Butterfield star in Toronto International Film Festival hit X+Y, about an autistic maths prodigy who begins to experience the world differently under the guidance of an unconventional maths teacher.
Other screenings in LIFF28’s Yorkshire film line-up include Mr Somebody?, about eccentric Huddersfield resident Jake Mangle Wurzel; To Hell With Culture, exploring the life of Yorkshire poet Herbert Read and the Yorkshire Short Film Competition.
LIFF28’s Testament of Youth screening coincides with Remembrance Sunday this coming weekend, and leads an important programme of films and events commemorating the centenary of World War One in the festival’s War on Film programme.