PODCAST | Chiara Nicoletti interviews Stephen Frears, director who received the Career Award from the 2017 Lecce European Film Festival.
To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture
Director Stephen Frears has arrived in Lecce straight from London where he is currently in post-production phase of his net film, Victoria and Abdul, a film based on the true story of the peculiar relationship between Queen Victoria and her indian muslim servant Abdul Karim. The protagonists are Dame Judi Dench and the famous indian actor Ali Fazal. At the European Film Festival Frears receives the Career Award, a path he has carried on with curiosity, political commitment and self-criticism. To recall the most important moments of his filmography, from the beginning in the early 80’s, through films like Dangerous Liaisons and High Fidelity till reaching Philomena and Florence Foster Jenkins, the Festival organized a retrospective of ten of his films as an homage. Through cinema, Frears has always participated in the political debate inspiring and influencing his audience towards tolerance and respect for civil rights.
Stephen Frears at the 18th edition of European Film Festival (Lecce, 3 rd – 8 th April) directed by Alberto La Monica and Cristina Soldano. The filmmaker will attend the Festival on its closing day, April 8th. Born in 1941, Frears is known by critics and audiences for the cynical and irreverent style characterizing most of his films. After a series of movie hits filmed in his homeland – including My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) and Dangerous Liaisons (1988) with Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer – 1990’s The Grifters was the first American work by the director from Leicester, strongly wanted and produced by Martin Scorsese and boasting an exceptional cast: John Cusack, Annette Bening and Anjelica Huston. The film earned him a nomination to the Academy Award for Best Director. It was followed by many other successful films such as Hero (1992), High Fidelity (2000), Dirty Pretty Things (2002). 2006 was the year of The Queen with an amazing Helen Mirren, who won an Oscar for Best Actress and the Coppa Volpi Award at Venice Film Festival. With the dramatic film Philomena (2013), starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, Frears received awards around the world, including Best Screenplay (to Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope) at Venice in 2013 and at the BAFTA Awards in 2014 and the David di Donatello for Best European Film, in addition to numerous nominations at the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes. In 2015 he directed The Program, about the story of cyclist Lance Armstrong (Ben Foster), and in 2016 Florence starring Meryl Streep. With the same talent and effectiveness, Frears has also made many TV films during his career. Frears is currently in post-production on his new film Victoria and Abdul, starring once again Judi Dench in the role of Queen Victoria, together with Ali Fazalas, who plays Abdul Karim, and Michael Gambon.
For the official page on the festival website click here.