screening room

Our links with the British film industry, organisations such as BAFTA and Premier PR and screening facilities in the capital, mean we are able to offer WGGB members screenings of new and upcoming film releases. These are often followed by Q&As with writer, director and cast.

Members will be informed of full details of screenings via email/the weekly ebulletin.

Examples of some of our latest screenings follow.

Harriet (11 October 2019)

Based on the life of an iconic American freedom fighter, the film tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history. The screening is followed by a Q&A with writer and director Kasi Lemmons and actors Cynthia Erivo and Joe Alwyn.

Waves (11 October 2019)

Set against the vibrant landscape of South Florida, the film traces the journey of a suburban African-American family – led by a well-intentioned but domineering father – as they navigate love, forgiveness and coming together in the aftermath of a loss. Waves is a story about finding compassion even in the darkest of times. The screenings is followed by a Q&A with writer/director/ producer Trey Edward Shults and actors Sterling K. Brown, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Taylor Russell.

Official Secrets (10 October 2019)

 As politicians in Britain and the US angle to invade Iraq in 2003, GCHQ translator Katharine Gun leaks a classified email that urges spying on members of the UN Security Council to force through their resolution to go to war. Charged with breaking the Official Secrets Act, and facing imprisonment, Katharine sets out to defend her actions. With her life, liberty and marriage threatened, she must stand up for what she believes in. The film is followed by a Q&A with writer/director Gavin Hood and producer Ged Doherty. Written by Sara and Gregory Bernstein and Gavin Hood (and based on the book The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War by Marcia and Thomas Mitchell).

Le Mans ’66 (10 October 2019)

Written by Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth and Jason Keller, the film is based on the true story of US car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and British-born driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale), who together battled corporate interference, the laws of physics, and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car for Ford Motor Company to take on the dominating race cars of Enzo Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966. The screening is followed by a Q&A with director and producer James Mangold.

How to Train Your Dragon: the Hidden World (6 October 2019)

What began as an unlikely friendship between an adolescent Viking and a fearsome Night Fury dragon has become an epic adventure spanning their lives.
The movie is followed by a Q&A with writer/director Dean DeBlois, producer Bonnie Arnold, author Cressida Cowell and head of character animation Simon Otto.

The King (5 October 2019)

Hal (Timothée Chalamet), wayward prince and reluctant heir to the English throne, has turned his back on royal life and is living among the people. But when his tyrannical father dies, Hal is crowned King Henry V and is forced to embrace the life he had previously tried to escape. Now the young king must navigate the palace politics, chaos and war his father left behind, and the emotional strings of his past life — including his relationship with his closest friend and mentor, the ageing alcoholic knight John Falstaff (Joel Edgerton). Written by Joel Edgerton and David Michod.

I Lost my Body (J’ai Perdu mon Corps) (5 October 2019)

In a Parisian laboratory, a severed hand escapes its unhappy fate and sets out to reconnect with its body. During a hair-raising escapade across the city, the extremity fends off pigeons and rats alike to reunite with pizza boy Naoufel. Its memories of Naoufel and his love for librarian Gabrielle may provide answers about what caused the hand’s separation, and a poetic backdrop for a possible reunion between the three. The movie is based on the novel Happy Hand by Academy Award nominee Guillaume Laurant (Amélie). Winner of the Critics’ Week Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the movie is followed by a Q&A with screenwriter and director Jeremy Clapin, screenwriter and author Guillame Laurant and producer Marc du Pontavice.

Atlantics (Atlantique) (4 October 2019)

Along the Atlantic coast, a soon-to-be-inaugurated futuristic tower looms over a suburb of Dakar. Ada, 17, is in love with Souleiman, a young construction worker. But she has been promised to another man. One night, Souleiman and his co-workers leave the country by sea, in the hope of a better future. Several days later, a fire ruins Ada’s wedding and a mysterious fever starts to spread. Little does Ada know that Souleiman has returned.

Winner of the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival and co-written by Mati Diop and Olivier Demangel, the film is followed by a Q&A with Mati Diop (who also directed the movie).

Avengers: Endgame (30 September 2019)

The grave course of events set in motion by Thanos that wiped out half the universe and fractured the Avengers ranks compels the remaining Avengers to take one final stand in Marvel Studios’ grand conclusion to 22 films. Written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.  The screening is followed by a Q&A with the screenwriters and networking drinks.

Pain & Glory (24 September 2019)

Written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar, the film centres around Salvador Mallo (Antonio Banderas), a film director in physical decline who experiences a series of encounters with his past. Some of these are in the flesh, others in his memories: his childhood in the 1960s and the first stirrings of desire, his first love and the pain of breakup in Madrid of the 1980s, his writing as therapy to forget the unforgettable, his discovery of cinema, and his experience of the void that blocks him from carrying on making films.

Roma (8 February 2019)

Written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón, the film follows Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a young domestic worker for a family in the middle-class neighbourhood of Roma in Mexico City. Cuarón draws on his own childhood to create a portrait of domestic strife and social hierarchy amid the political turmoil of the 1970s. The screening was followed by a Q&A with Cuarón, producer Gabriela Rodriguez, and actors Aparicio and Marina de Tavira.

The Favourite (12 February 2019)

In the early 18th century, England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne occupies the throne, and her close friend, Lady Sarah, governs the country in her stead, while tending to Anne’s ill health and mercurial temper. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing, and Abigail sees a chance to return to her aristocratic roots. Written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, the screening is followed by a Q&A with director Yorgos Lanthimos.

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (20 December 2018)

Adapted by Callie Kloves from the All Mowgli Stories by Rudyard Kipling, the screening is introduced by director Andy Serkis. 

If Beale Street Could Talk (12 December 2018)

Based on the James Baldwin novel, and adapted and directed by Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk is set in early-1970s Harlem. The film is a timeless and moving love story of a couple’s unbreakable bond and the African-American family’s empowering embrace, as told through the eyes of 19-year-old Tish Rivers (KiKi Layne). A daughter and wife-to-be, Tish vividly recalls the passion, respect and trust that have connected her and her artist fiancé Fonny (Stephan James). Friends since childhood, the devoted couple dream of a future together but their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit. Followed by a Q&A with lead actors KiKi Layne and Stephan James.

Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse (6 December 2018)

The creative minds behind 21 Jump Street and the BAFTA and Annie-Award winning feature The LEGO Movie bring a groundbreaking visual style to the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where anyone can wear the mask. Plus Q&A with producer and co-writer Phil Lord and producer Christopher Miller.

On the Basis of Sex (2 December 2018)

Inspired by a true story, this film follows young Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a new mother and attorney struggling in a field dominated by men. When Ruth (Felicity Jones) takes on a groundbreaking case with her husband Marty (Armie Hammer), she knows it could forever change the way the courts and the US view gender discrimination. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Mimi Leder and actors Felicity Jones and Armie Hammer.

Stan & Ollie (23 November 2018)

Stan & Ollie, written by Jeff Pope and directed by Jon S Baird, is the heart-warming story of what would become the triumphant farewell of movie icons Laurel & Hardy when they embarked on a variety hall tour of Britain and Ireland. The screening is followed by a Q&A with leading actors Steve Coogan and John C Reilly, supporting actor Shirley Henderson, director Jon S Baird and producer Faye Ward.

Can You Ever Forgive Me? (8 November 2018)

Melissa McCarthy stars as Lee Israel, the best-selling celebrity biographer (and cat lover) who made her living in the 1970s and 1980s profiling the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Estée Lauder and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen. When Lee finds herself unable to get published because she has fallen out of step with the marketplace, she turns her art form to deception, abetted by her loyal friend Jack (Richard E. Grant).

July 22 (26 October 2018)

The film tells the true story of the aftermath of Norway’s deadliest terrorist attack. On 22 July 2011, 77 people were killed when a far-right extremist detonated a car bomb in Oslo before carrying out a mass shooting at a leadership camp for teens. 22 July uses the lens of one survivor’s physical and emotional journey to portray the country’s path to healing and reconciliation.

Quincy (27 October 2018)

Written by Alan Hicks and directed by Rashida Jones, the film is an intimate look into the life of Quincy Jones. A force of nature in music and popular culture for 70 years, Jones has transcended musical and racial boundaries; his story is woven into the fabric of Black America. Beyond his own acclaim as a trumpeter, producer, conductor, composer and arranger, Jones has discovered some of the biggest talents of the past half century.

If Beale Street Could Talk (19 October 2018)

Adapted from James Baldwin’s novel by Barry Jenkins and starring Colman Domingo, If Beal Street Could Talk is set in early-1970s Harlem, and is a timeless, moving love story of a couple’s unbreakable bond and the African-American family’s empowering embrace, as told through the eyes of 19-year-old Tish Rivers (KiKi Layne). A daughter and wife-to-be, Tish vividly recalls the passion, respect and trust that have connected her and her artist fiancé Alonzo Hunt, who goes by the nickname Fonny (Stephan James). Friends since childhood, the devoted couple dream of a future together but their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit.

The Hate U Give (15 October 2018)

Adapted by Audrey Wells from the New York Times critically acclaimed bestseller by Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give centres around Starr Carter who is constantly switching between two worlds – the poor, mostly black neighbourhood where she lives and the wealthy, mostly white prep school that she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is soon shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer. Facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and decide to stand up for what’s right.

Shirkers (7 October 2018)

In 1992, teenage VHS-bootlegger Sandi Tan and her fellow film-geek pals, Jasmine Ng and Sophie Siddique, shot Singapore’s first road movie with their enigmatic American mentor Georges. Sandi wrote the script and played the lead, a 16-year-old assassin collecting and then eliminating her own tribe. After shooting wrapped, Georges absconded with all of the footage…The 16mm Kodak cans are recovered 20 years later, sending Tan, now a novelist in Los Angeles, on a personal, singular odyssey across two continents in search of Georges’ vanishing footprints and her own. The screening was followed by a Q&A with writer and director Sandi Tan.

Lady Macbeth (13 December 2017)

It’s rural England, 1865. Katherine (Florence Pugh) is stifled by her loveless marriage to a bitter man twice her age, and his cold, unforgiving family. When she embarks on a passionate affair with a young worker on her husband’s estate, a force is unleashed inside her so powerful that she will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Followed by a Q&A with Florence Pugh and producer Fodhla Cronin.

God’s Own Country (11 December 2017)

Johnny Saxby works long hours on his family’s farm in the north of England. He numbs the daily frustration of his lonely existence with nightly binge-drinking at the local pub and casual sex. But when a handsome Romanian migrant worker arrives to take up temporary work on the family farm, Johnny suddenly finds himself having to deal with emotions he has never felt before. This Writers’ Guild Award 2018-nominated film will be followed by a Q&A with writer and director Francis Lee, lead actor Josh O’Connor and supporting actor Alec Secareanu.

I, Tonya (7 December 2017)

Written by Steven Rogers, I, Tonya tells the story of American figure-skating champion Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie), who was involved in a vicious attack on her rival skater, team mate Nancy Kerrigan (Caitlin Carver), just before the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer.

Battle of the Sexes (23 November 2017)

In the wake of the rise of the women’s movement, the 1973 tennis match between women’s world champion Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-men’s champ Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as the ‘Battle of the Sexes’ and became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time. As the rivalry between King and Riggs kicked into high gear, off-court each was fighting more complex battles. Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis court. Followed by a Q&A with writer Simon Beaufoy.

Detroit (16 November 2017)

Detroit is set in the summer of 1967. As rioting and civil unrest starts to tear the city apart, a report of gunshots prompts the Detroit Police Department, the Michigan State Police and the Michigan Army National Guard to search and seize an annex of the nearby Algiers Motel. Several policemen start to flout procedure by forcefully and viciously interrogating guests to get a confession. By the end of the night, three unarmed men are gunned down while several others are brutally beaten. Written by Mark Boal, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, starring Will Poulter. Screening followed by Q&A with Mark Boal and Will Poulter, plus drinks reception.

Darkest Hour (27 October 2017)

During the early days of World War II, Britain faces its darkest hour as the threat of Nazi invasion looms. The fate of Western Europe hangs on the leadership of the newly appointed Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman). Written by Anthony McCarten and directed by Joe Wright. Featuring a Q&A with Anthony McCarten, Joe Wright, Gary Oldman and Kristin Scott Thomas.

Read a review by WGGB member Angela Elliott

Jawbone (24 October and 15 November 2017)

This brutal, poetic movie is inspired by the world of amateur boxing. It features Johnny Harris, Ray Winstone, Michael Smiley and Ian McShane, is written by Johnny Harris and directed by Thomas Napper.

The Florida Project (14 October 2017)

Directed by Sean Baker, co-written with Chris Bergoch and starring Willem Dafoe, the film tells the story of Moonee (Brooklynn Prince), a precocious six-year-old and her ragtag group of friends. The children’s summer break is filled with wonder, mischief and adventure, while the adults around them struggle with hard times. Followed by an audience Q&A.

Fire at Sea (15 February 2017)

Nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards 2017, Fire at Sea (directed by Gianfranco Rosi) focuses on the hundreds of thousands of migrants who have landed on the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa, a crucial stopover for refugees between Africa and Europe. On the same island, Italian families, like Samuele Pucillo’s, live quiet lives, seemingly untouched by their temporary neighbours’ trauma. Rosi places these realities side by side, creating a new narrative.

Nocturnal Animals (17 January 2017)

Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal star in this thriller, written and directed by Tom Ford, in which an art gallery owner is haunted by her ex-husband’s novel, which she interprets as being a veiled threat and act of revenge.

Loving (11 January 2017)

Written and directed by Jeff Nichols, Loving celebrates the real-life courage of an interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving (portrayed in the film by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga), who fell in love and were married in 1958. Their civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 reaffirmed the very foundation of the right to marry.

Jackie (4 January 2017)

Jackie is a portrait of one of the most important moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Natalie Portman). Known for her dignity and poise, here we see a portrait of the First Lady after her husband’s assassination, as she struggles to maintain his legacy and the world of ‘Camelot’ that they created. Screenplay by Noah Oppenheim.

Fences (12, 17, 19 December 2016)

An African-American father struggles with race relations in the United States while trying to raise his family in the 1950s and coming to terms with the events of his life. Screenplay by August Wilson (adapted from his play). Directed by Denzel Washington.

Lion (23 November 2016)

Five-year-old Saroo gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of miles across India, away from home and family. Saroo must learn to survive alone in Kolkata, before ultimately being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home. Screenplay by Luke Davies.

Hidden Figures (16 November 2016)

The incredible untold story of Katherine G Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanised the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big. Screenplay by Theodore Melfi and Allison Schroeder.

The Crown (1 November 2016)

The Crown traces the life of Queen Elizabeth II from her wedding in 1947 to the present day. Broadcast on Neflix it is due to run for an epic 60 episodes over six seasons. Written by Peter Morgan.

The Big Short (22 February 2016)

Exploring the financial crisis of 2007/8, The Big Short stars Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Steve Carrell and Ryan Gosling. It is based on the book by Michael Lewis and was adapted for screen by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay, both of whom won a recent BAFTA for Best Adapted Screenplay.

A Bigger Splash (7 February 2016)

The vacation of a famous rock star is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of an old friend and his daughter (screenplay by Dave Kajganich).

Brooklyn (5, 17 February 2016) 

Brooklyn tells the story of a young Irish immigrant (Saoirse Ronan) arriving in Brooklyn in the 1950s, where she falls in love with an Italian plumber (Emory Cohen). As her past catches up with her, she has to make a choice between the two countries and lives that she exists within. The screenplay was written by Nick Hornby, adapted from the novel by Colm Toibin. It won Outstanding British Film at the 2016 BAFTAs.

Bridge of Spies (1 February 2016)

Bridge of Spies, written by Matt Charman, Ethan and Joel Cohen, is the story of James Donovan, an insurance claims lawyer from Brooklyn, who finds himself thrust into the centre of the Cold War when the CIA enlists his support to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot. Directed by Steven Spielberg, and starring Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan and Alan Alda, Bridge of Spies has been nominated for the 2016 Oscars (Best Picture). Read WGGB member Angela Elliott’s feature about the screening and Q&A.

Trumbo (14 January 2016)

Trumbo, written by John McNamara, tells the story of American screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, the most famous of the ‘Hollywood 10’ during the Communist witch hunts of the 1950s.

Starred Up (3 September 2015)

Writers’ Guild Award-winning Starred Up (Best New Screenplay) received a special screening at the Shortwave Cinema in London, followed by an ‘in conversation’ event with its writer Jonathan Asser and WGGB President Olivia Hetreed. Starred Up tells the story of Eric Love, a 19-year-old who is so violent he has been ‘starred up’ (moved to adult prison) where he finds the father he hasn’t seen since he was put into care at the age of five.

Photo: shutterstock.com/KEN226