BBC Films reached its 25 year anniversary earlier this year. During that time, the BBC’s feature film arm has contributed to more than 250 films in a wide range of genres, from spin-offs like Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa to artsy films like Andrea Arnold’s Red Road. To mark the milestone, BBC Two and BBC Four will be broadcasting a celebration of British Cinema this June.
Pinewood – 80 years of Movie Magic
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like on the set of blockbuster movies like James Bond and Kick-Ass, then this special documentary will be just the ticket. Jonathan Ross looks at the pivotal role played by the legendary Pinewood Studios in British filmmaking.
Pinewood – 80 years of Movie Magic, 6 June at 9pm on BBC Two
The celebration continues with a series of exclusive interviews with some of the best known names in British cinema, each a living legend: Julie Walters, Ken Loach and Dame Judi Dench. Their interviews will be followed by a one of their seminal works on BBC Four: Billy Elliot, Sweet Sixteen and Iris.
Working class hero
Julie Walters has been one of Britain’s best-loved actresses since her award-winning big screen debut in Educating Rita. In this revealing interview, Richard E Grant speaks candidly with Julie Walters about some of the career highlights of remarkable career. This is then followed by the film Billy Elliot (2001), where Walter’s portrayal of Mrs. Wilkinson earned her Oscar-nomination for Best Supporting actress.
Julie Walters in Conversation with Richard E Grant, Sunday 7 June 8pm on BBC Four
Billy Elliot, Sunday 7 June at 9pm on BBC Four
Life behind the camera
Known for his realistic and anti-Hollywood approach, director Ken Loach is not one for following the rules. After their collaboration in The Wind That Shakes the Barley, actor Cillian Murphy talks to Loach about his unique style of filmmaking. There is then a chance to see one of Loach’s most influential works – Sweet Sixteen. The film tells the story of a teenage boy from a troubled background, Liam, who dreams of starting afresh with his mother who is completing a prison term.
Ken Loach in Conversation with Cillian Murphy, Sunday 14 June on BBC Four
Sweet Sixteen, Sunday 14 June on BBC Four
Queen of the silver screen
Simply one of the most decorated actresses in the World – plus, she’s 007’s boss. Dame Judi Dench has conquered the stage and the big screen, so what makes her tick? In this interview, she chats with her long term colleague Sir Richard Eyre about her remarkable career. This is followed by Iris, the story of celebrated author Iris Murdoch (Dame Judie). From her days as a brilliant scholar at Oxford, Iris thrilled the world with her liberated spirit, through her career as a philosopher and novelist.
Dame Judi Dench in Conversation with Sir Richard Eyre, Sunday 21 June on BBC Four
Iris, Sunday 21 June on BBC Four
Find out more about what makes British cinema so great right here.