Powering through in its seventh year, the 2020 British Film Festival kicks off on Tuesday, November 10, opening with Noel Coward’s hotly anticipated Blithe Spirit.

Of the 22 films to be screened, eight have a strong focus on women, with female actresses in lead roles, female directors or a female-centric plot. This includes A Bump Along the Way, directed by Shelly Love and with an all-female creative team, A Call to Spy, which is centred on training women to be spies during WWII and true story The Warrior Queen Of Jhansi, written by and starring Devika Bhise as Queen Lakshmibai, who led an army against the British East India Company in 1857.

The festival offers films from a range of genres, but there is a clear love for music documentaries, comedies and historical dramas in the festival program. Director Kim Petalas knows each film like the back of his hand, and has been kind enough to share his top five picks for the festival. Check them out and grab tickets to your favourites here.

Blithe Spirit

Our opening night selection based on the famous Noel Coward play and a remake of the classic 1945 Rex Harrison film is Judi Dench’s funniest film in years. Originally adapted from the 1941 play of the same name, Blithe Spirit follows the comedic play-out of an accidental and bizarre love triangle between novelist Charles Condomine (Dan Stevens), his current wife (Perth’s own Isla Fisher) and the ghost of his temperamental first wife (Leslie Mann).



An extremely beautiful, intimate and engaging story with two superlative performances from Saoirse Ronan and Kate Winslet and both worthy of Oscar nominations. One of my favourites and not to be missed in the festival.


Keira Knightley and Jessie Buckley star as the true story feminist protesters who disrupted the 1970 Miss World beauty competition in London in this charming snapshot of the era.

The Nest

The complexity of family relationships surface in this beautiful drama about a married couple who relocate from upstate New York to an old estate near London, where their union unravels. Jude Law is at the top of his game in yet another brilliant performance.

Then Came You

Kathie Lee Gifford stars in this feel good romantic film set amongst beautiful scenic Scottish locations and it’s just the right tonic to share some joyous time in the cinema and to escape with a smile in what has been a challenging year.

The 2020 British Film Festival returns to Perth 10 – 29 November with films screening at Palace Raine Square, Luna Leederville, Luna on SX and Windsor Cinema. Get your tickets here.


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