The film Holme Wood premiered at the Cannes Film Festival


A LOVE story about a Catholic grandmother and a young Asian man, filmed in Bradford, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.

Ali & Ava is written and directed by Bafta nominee Clio Barnard, who based the story on people she met in Bradford while directing her previous films, The Arbor and The Selfish Giant.

Described as a tender contemporary love story, Ali & Ava was filmed on Holme Wood’s estate, with locals appearing as extras. Holme Wood actor Shaun Thomas, who made his film debut in The Selfish Giant (2013), about Two Young Scrappers, has a starring role and University of Bradford graduates have worked with the crew. Other sites include Undercliffe Cemetery, Bradford Cathedral Grounds, Laisterdyke and Tong.

Starring Bafta-winning actor Adeel Akhtar, who was in the Netflix hit drama Stranger Things, and Claire Rushbrook, whose work includes television’s Black Mirror, Ali & Ava talks about a woman in her 50s, of Irish-Catholic origin who hides the scars of a violent ex-husband and charismatic DJ 20 years his junior, who hides a secret from his family. Both lonely but optimistic, they begin a relationship that goes against the expectations of their family and their community.

The Bradford UNESCO City of Cinema team worked with producers and during filming the team was based at a property in Little Germany. City of Film director David Wilson said, “We worked with the Incommunities and the residents of Holme Wood, where a semi-detached house was used for filming.

“Ali & Ava is really a Bradford movie; local people were involved in its making, as well as being there, and we provided graduates’ CVs.

“Despite all the upheaval caused by the pandemic for film festivals and the continuation of production, it’s so good to hear that Clio Barnard’s Ali & Ava was screened in Cannes and received such positive reviews.

“This is truly a Bradford film, with some great locations all over the district. The trip has been quite long and the Bradford Film Office has played a role throughout, providing space for early script readings. , location support and other offices behind the scenes support.

“It was a great privilege for me to be invited to the set and to see Clio at work in a house that we have helped secure as one of the main character’s houses.

“I was fortunate enough to work with Clio on The Selfish Giant and I am a huge fan of his approach to storytelling. Knowing that this story and with it, the backdrop for Bradford, will be shared on movie screens. across the world in a positive and uplifting film is very gratifying for everyone involved. ”

Otley-born Clio’s first film, The Arbor, about writer Andrea Dunbar, was shot in the Buttershaw Estate. The Selfish Giant was shot in Odsal and Buttershaw and his third film, Dark River, was shot around Skipton.

About Monty S. Maynard

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