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5x15 presents: Mike Leigh on Mike Leigh in conversation with Francine Stock

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Join 5x15 and one of our greatest storytellers, Mike Leigh, for this very special online conversation hosted by Francine Stock.

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The writer-director Mike Leigh is one of world cinema’s pre-eminent figures, a multi-award winning writer-director and one of Britain’s most internationally recognised and critically acclaimed filmmakers. He joins 5x15 to talk about his life and work in an unmissable online conversation with the long-time presenter of The Film Programme, Francine Stock.

The subject of a major retrospective this October at the British Film Institute, Mike Leigh is a seven-time Oscar nominee and the winner of five BAFTAs. The only British director to have won the top prize at both Cannes (for Secrets & Lies) and Venice (for Vera Drake), his tragi-comic cinematic worlds have reflected the times and become part of our nation’s cultural landscape.

In Mike Leigh on Mike Leigh, the director reflects on films including his much-loved Mr Turner and recent epic Peterloo; classic films including Nuts In May and Abigail’s Party; his approach to universal themes; his inimitable working method of developing characters through improvisation; and the influences that have shaped his vision.

Above all, Mike Leigh is one of our greatest storytellers – passionate, forthright, witty and the maker of a unique body of work. In his critically-lauded films, bleakness and humour comingle, with always unforgettable results.

Mike Leigh was born in Salford, Manchester, in 1943, and developed a unique method of creating films through controlled improvisations. After his debut feature film, Bleak Moments (1971), he made a succession of admired TV plays, then returned to feature films. Secrets and Lies won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1996. Topsy-Turvy (1999) won two Oscars, and Vera Drake (2004), won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. He also wrote and directed the play Two Thousand Years for the National Theatre in 2005. The BFI will be celebrating Leigh’s work with a complete film season at BFI Southbank from 18 October-30 November plus UK-wide re-releases and Blu-rays.

Francine Stock has been the long-time presenter of BBC The Film Programme. Francine joined the BBC in 1983 as a producer on The World at One, PM and the World This Weekend. Various reporting and presenting jobs followed in News for Radio 4, as well as documentaries and the late night discussion programme, No Illusions. Television includes reporting and presenting The Money Programme and Newsnight.

With thanks for your generous support for 5x15 online.

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