The actor Timothy Spall will meet fans and answer questions from film buffs tomorrow, at the launch of the second Oxford International Film Festival.
The star of such classics as The King's Speech, Mr. Turner and, of course, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, will speak to audience members at the Phoenix Picturehouse, in Walton Street, Jericho, ahead of a screening of his movie Stanley A Man of Variety – which he co-wrote and in which he plays all the main parts.
The star appearanc, at 7pm, will also celebrate the opening of the festival, which will run at the cinema all weekend.
Spall has been acclaimed for his amusing and moving story of Stanley, a middle-aged man who enjoys watching classic British films and TV shows from the 60s and 70s.
In prison for a crime that he’s convinced he didn’t commit, and after years in solitary confinement, his quest to see his daughter for her 16th birthday becomes an obsession. So he begins to talk to his comedy heroes from the past, each one trying to help him remember if, or what, he has done.
This is the first time since Alec Guinness in Kind Hearts and Coronets that one performer has played all of a film’s principal roles.
The festival's Phoebe Lazaro says: "It is a towering achievement from Spall, who moves from the flamboyant Noel Coward to the grotesque Max Wall via the ukulele-playing George Formby with ease.
"Hugely successful at the UK Film Festival 2016 and the Manchester Film Festival 2017, among others, it will delight and surprise its audiences in equal measure."
OXIFF 2017 programme also features performances from Donald Sumpter (Game of Thrones, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), Ben Wishaw (Perfume, Skayfall) and Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina, Star Wars: The Force Awakens).
The best of the rest
On Saturday (4.50pm), it’s the turn of coming of age comedy Creedmoria.
Staring Stef Dawson (The Hunger Games series) and Ray Abruzzo (The Sopranos, Transparent) it tells the story of dysfunctional Candy who, aged 17, decides she needs to break free from everything she knows in order to save herself; a caveman of a boyfriend, a bad boss, and a drunk of a brother. Will normality be her saviour?
Directed by Alicia Slimmer (My First Car), the film is a vibrant and colourful tale that will have you cheering in the aisles.
An American Indie film through and through, it carries a huge heart and a taste for the Hollywood fantastical.
Having flourished at festivals around the world, including the Brooklyn Film Festival and the Tallgrass Film Festival, it is almost guaranteed to receive a similarly rapturous welcome at OXIFF 2017.
Later that evening (7.15pm), there’s a treat for comedy fans with Why Siegfried Teitelbaum Had to Die.
After a dangerous case, hitman Stefán barely survives from a shot to the head. After recovering, his recollections seem fuzzy, and he has to ask himself whether he was involved in the controversial Teitelbaum case the officials are investigating.
Closing the festival on Sunday (7.15pm) is For Grace, a documentary following Ben Keatley’s poignant and often heart-breaking search for his biological parents.
Recent fatherhood has left a gaping hole in Ben’s soul, so he’s compelled to travel up and down the country in a quest to fill it.
It is the first feature from director Sebastian Armesto, previously known for his work for the stage. For Grace has already achieved hugely deserved success at the Raindance Film Festival and the Cinequest Film & VR festival.
- For details visit oxiff.com