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British descend on Dinard 2011

David Mackenzie’s Perfect Sense kicks off the intimate festival.

It’s ironic that it takes a French festival to bring British film-makers together. But that’s exactly what happens at the annual Dinard Film Festival for British Films, when half of the UK film industry descends in a specially chartered flight on the picturesque seaside town of Dinard in France to, well, catch up.

It’s also a chance to guage how UK films go down in France. And it’s always encouraging to see local audiences flocking to see British art house films, even at 10am. Sadly, I’m not sure you’d get that level of enthusiasm from British audiences..

The 22nd edition of the festival opened last night with the French premiere of David Mackenzie’s Perfect Sense, starring Ewan McGregor and Eva Green.

After an introduction by festival godmother Petula Clarke (who sang two songs, neither of which were Downtown), Mackenzie [pictured] took to the stage to present his Glasgow-set film about an epidemic which wipes out the senses one by one. By the time the film finished, my sense of taste was still firmly intact, but unfortunately we were too late to sample any of the restaurants in Dinard, so the only option was to head to the bar of the Grand Hotel.

Earlier at the opening night cocktail reception I chatted to John Hurt who is being honoured with a retrospective of his work at this year’s edition, Luke Treadaway (in town for David MacKenzie’s second film of the festival You Instead in which he plays an American rock star performing at Glasgow’s T in the Park festival), the rather adorable 19-year-old actor Thomas Turgoose (in town for Shane Meadows’ This Is England 86) and the very bubbly Jamie Winstone who is sitting on this year’s jury. Winstone has just co-produced her first film, Elfie Hopkins, in which she also takes the lead (alongside her famous dad) as an aspiring young detective in a rural English village. 

Films competing for this year’s Golden Hitchcock Award are The Guard, Behold The Lamb, Oranges And Sunshine, Tyrannosaur, Weekend andYou Instead.

Meanwhile the other competition happening this weekend is the Rugby World Cup match between England and France tomorrow morning. That’s going to do nothing for Anglo French relations…

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