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Image for Chiwetel Ejiofor; Frank Cottrell Boyce; Ken Loach; What makes a film British?

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Chiwetel Ejiofor; Frank Cottrell Boyce; Ken Loach; What makes a film British?

Duration:
28 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 09 January 2014

With 12 Years a Slave already tipped as one of the leading films in the awards season, Francine Stock talks to British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor about his role as a kidnapped free man who finds himself working on a plantation. Directed by Steve McQueen, whose previous work includes Hunger and Shame, the film has received 10 BAFTA nominations including Best Actor for Ejiofor.

We explore the controversy surrounding what makes a film British, as the BAFTA nominations are announced. Eyebrows were raised about the space adventure Gravity made by an American studio with an American cast, making it into the Best British Film shortlist while 12 Years A Slave, with a British director and leading actors, failed to classify as British. Ben Roberts head of the BFI Film Fund explains the mysterious world of what makes a film British and the sinister-sounding criteria of the Cultural Test.

We join the director Ken Loach in the cutting room in London's Soho as he and his editor Jonathan Morris and assistant Paul Clegg put together his latest film Jimmy's Hall, set in 1930s Ireland and due for release this year. This film is expected to be one of the last to be physically cut on film as the industry moves almost entirely into digital systems. Ken outlines why he feels there's a certain rhythm and camaraderie to this traditional way of editing.

Screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce discusses The Railway Man, starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth. Based on the memoir of Eric Lomax, it tells the tale of a man who survived building the railway in Burma as a prisoner of war during the Second World War and years later, sets out to find his torturer. Lomax didn't live to see the film released and Cottrell Boyce explains why this project is very close to his heart.

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