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02 August 2020


London, 03 August 2020

British comedy-drama THE DUKE has been selected for the 2020 Telluride Film Festival.

As with Cannes, Telluride is not going ahead physically this year, but the organisers wished to make public their selection of the year’s best films to help promote them to as broad an audience as possible.

THE DUKE will have its World Premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

The film stars Academy Award winners Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren and was directed by Roger Michell from a script by Richard Bean and Clive Coleman.

Roger Michell stated:
“I am delighted that THE DUKE has been so honoured by both the Telluride and Venice film Festivals and just regret that circumstances oblige these great celebrations of film to curtail their mission: to fill cinemas with people and their shared emotion. One day soon audiences will surely return and I look forward to sharing our film with them, a film that speaks to the experience we have all been through - and perhaps one of the lessons we have all learnt - that the true measure of a civilised society is how it cares for its most vulnerable.”

Jim Broadbent said:
“I am thrilled that THE DUKE has been selected. A film about generosity and kindness to others, even if it is demonstrated somewhat unconventionally, would seem to be very appropriate for the times. That these Festivals have chosen to honour the film is a very exciting opportunity to present it to a wide audience.”

Helen Mirren said:
“I had a wonderful time making THE DUKE, thanks to all my co-actors and our director. We are all very happy and honoured that our work is recognised by two of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. We are very much looking forward to sharing it with an audience.”

THE DUKE is a moving true story that celebrates a man who was determined to live a meaningful life:

In 1961, Kempton Bunton, a 60-year old taxi driver, stole Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London. It was the first (and remains the only) theft in the Gallery’s history.
Kempton sent ransom notes saying that he would return the painting on condition that the government invested more in care for the elderly - he had long campaigned for pensioners to receive free television.
What happened next became the stuff of legend. Only 50 years later did the full story emerge - Kempton had spun a web of lies. The only truth was that he was a good man, determined to change the world and save his marriage - how and why he used the Duke to achieve that is a wonderfully uplifting tale.

As the world grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic, THE DUKE is a timely exploration of the need to recognise that we are all connected, that the health of each depends on the health of all.

THE DUKE is a Pathé, Ingenious Media and Screen Yorkshire presentation of a Neon Films Production. Nicky Bentham is the Producer and the Executive Producers are Cameron McCracken and Jenny Borgars for Pathé, Andrea Scarso for Ingenious Media, Hugo Heppell for Screen Yorkshire, Peter Scarf and Christopher Bunton.
Pathé will release the film in the UK in Spring 2021 and will also distribute the film in France and Switzerland as well as manage sales for the rest of the world.

For further information contact:
Ellen Steers
Emma Eliades

Pathe UK
Sophie Glover

Pathé operates as a film studio in France, the UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland. It is involved in all aspects of filmmaking, from development and production through to international sales, distribution and exhibition.

Films produced/distributed by Pathé range from The Queen to Slumdog Millionaire and from Philomena to Selma. In recent years Pathé’s productions have won 17 BAFTAs (70 nominations) and 14 Oscars (50 nominations), most recently the Best Actress Oscar and BAFTA for Renee Zellweger in Judy.

Pathé International handles the international marketing and sales of Pathé’s own productions and also acquires third party films for worldwide representation. As one of Europe’s leading sales agents, Pathé International has a significant presence at all major film markets and festivals.

For 22 years, Ingenious Media has been at the forefront of investing in the global creative economy and in that time has raised and deployed over $10 billion. Ingenious Media has been involved in the production of a diverse slate of films, including the award-winning Judy, Life of Pi, Avatar, Oscar-nominated Carol, Brooklyn and Selma, five films in the successful X-Men franchise, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, breakout British hits Suffragette and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, as well as acclaimed television programmes such as The Fall, Dr. Foster and The Honourable Woman.

Screen Yorkshire champions the film, TV, games and digital industries in Yorkshire and the Humber, UK. Its aim is to secure and support the very best projects, companies and individuals, helping to make the region one of the most sought-after destinations for production in the UK.
Screen Yorkshire delivers the Film Office services for Yorkshire & Humber and has been leading the development of the Yorkshire Screen Hub, supported by the BFI’s National Cluster Growth Fund using National Lottery funding to support the development and growth of the Yorkshire screen sector.
Screen Yorkshire offers production financing through its Yorkshire Content Fund. Credits include: The Duke, Ali & Ava, All Creatures Great and Small, Official Secrets, Hope Gap, Ackley Bridge, Dark River, Yardie, Ghost Stories, Stardog & Turbocat, Journeyman, Dad’s Army, Swallows and Amazons, Testament of Youth, ’71, National Treasure, The Great Train Robbery, Peaky Blinders, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell and Hank Zipzer.
Screen Yorkshire also works with ScreenSkills, NFTS and the BFI to develop regional and UK wide talent by devising and delivering industry schemes