Film Programs

Sheila K. O’Brien Spotlight on UK/Ireland Cinema

In recognizing the myriad talents and achievements within the U.K. and Ireland film industries, the Sheila K. O’Brien Spotlight is presented annually during the Denver Film Festival. We aim to take a look at the diverse and compelling cinematic works of our country’s closest allies across the Atlantic.

The Aeronauts
USA 2019 101 min.

In 1862, daredevil balloon pilot Amelia Wren (Felicity Jones) teamed up with pioneering meteorologist James Glaisher (Eddie Redmayne) to study the weather—flying higher than anyone in history in the process. This thrilling adventure pits human grit and ingenuity against increasingly thin air.

United Kingdom 2019 89 min.

Martin is a fisherman in a small Cornish village turned vacation spot, where he’s at war with everyone: tourists, the neighbors who welcome them, even his own family. Shot in black-and-white on 16mm, this drama brings the conflict between tradition and modernity into high relief.

Best Before Death
USA 2019 89 min.

Scottish artist and musician Bill Drummond is on a 12-year world tour—but instead of performing in any traditional sense, he’s baking cakes and shining shoes in a documentary so quirky it almost reads as parody.

A Girl From Mogadishu
Ireland 2019 112 min.

Ifrah Ahmed could have been just one more nameless, faceless victim in the annals of war-torn Somalia. Instead she became a global heroine, positioning herself at the forefront of the fight against gender-based violence. This enlightening biopic tells her story.

The Keeper
United Kingdom 2018 120 min.

Bert Trautmann was a Manchester City goalkeeper who became a hero first for winning the 1956 FA Cup finals with a broken neck and later for good works that earned him an Order of the British Empire. Before that, though, he was a German POW in love with an English girl. This is his astonishing story.

Scheme Birds
United Kingdom 2018 90 min.

Growing up on the hardscrabble outskirts of Glasgow, teenaged Gemma has already seen enough trouble to last a lifetime. But there’s so much more to come in this startling, clear-eyed but compassionate documentary, which does its subject the justice she deserves by daring to show her just as she is.

Sorry We Missed You
United Kingdom 2019 100 min.

When Ricky takes a contract job as a delivery driver, his struggling family hopes they’ve finally gotten the break from debt they so badly need. But the fine print on that contract is about to be writ large, and it will take a toll on them all in this stirring drama from British director Ken Loach.

Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema Part 1
United Kingdom 2019 180 min.

As told through clips from 183 female directors with narration by Tilda Swinton, this epic 14-hour documentary by Mark Cousins (The Story of Film, DFF35) focuses on women’s integral role in the development of the art of cinema.

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