Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan in Ammonite
Ammonite, directed by Francis Lee, starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan.

The BFI London Film Festival will close this year’s 64th edition of the festival with the biopic Ammonite, directed by Francis Lee, starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan. The film will receive its UK premiere on Saturday October 17th and will be available to UK audiences at cinemas across UK.

In the 1840s, acclaimed self-taught paleontologist Mary Anning (Winslet) works alone on the wild and brutal Southern English coastline of Lyme Regis. The days of her famed discoveries behind her, she now hunts for common fossils to sell to rich tourists to support herself and her ailing widowed mother. When one such tourist, Roderick Murchison, arrives in Lyme on the first leg of a European tour, he entrusts Mary with the care of his young wife Charlotte (Ronan), who is recuperating from a personal tragedy. Mary, whose life is a daily struggle on the poverty line, cannot afford to turn him down but, proud and relentlessly passionate about her work, she clashes with her unwanted guest. They are two women from utterly different worlds. Yet despite the chasm between their social
spheres and personalities, Mary and Charlotte discover they can each offer what the other has been searching for: the realization that they are not alone. It is the beginning of a passionate and all-consuming love affair that will defy all social bounds and alter the course of both lives irrevocably.

Both a heartfelt love-story and an examination of gender, class and society, Ammonite brings to life in vivid detail the life of a woman unappreciated in her own time. A pioneering paleontologist and passionate fossil collector,
Anning’s findings contributed to changes in scientific thinking around the prehistory of the Earth and saw her named as one of the most influential women in British scientific history by the Royal Society after her death.

Ammonite Director, Francis Lee said: ‘I’m thrilled Ammonite has been chosen to close the BFI London Film Festival. In these incredibly difficult times, it’s wonderful to see this film about intimacy, love and hope getting its U.K. premiere at LFF’

BFI London Film Festival Director, Tricia Tuttle said: “We were huge admirers of Francis Lee’s debut and it’s a pleasure to have him close the 2020 BFI London Film Festival with his sublime second feature, Ammonite. Francis has the ability to place love stories of breath-taking intimacy within a rich socio-political context, always with a delicate touch, and here offers reflections on class difference and the erasure of women from scientific history. In Saoirse Ronan and Kate Winslet, Ammonite features two enthralling and gifted leads; Kate in particular, who appears in almost every scene, gives a fearless and complex performance as the brilliant, proud Mary Anning”.

Ammonite, is one of thirteen other highly-anticipated new films from the program that will screen in previews across the UK, in partnership with UK-wide cinemas network, offering audiences across the UK a unique chance to engage with the Festival. The previously announced Mangrove will open this year’s 64th BFI London Film Festival. Many of the films will also screen in the Festival’s Virtual Festival home on BFI Player, with over 55 new feature films from around the world premiering on the digital platform over the course of the BFI London Film Festival.

Ammonite will be released in UK cinemas in 2021.

The 64th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express takes place from Wednesday October 7th to Sunday October 18th, 2020.

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