Creative connections that transform




Sir Kenneth Branagh announced as patron for Shakespeare on Screen programme

Date posted: 21.12.2015

We are proud to welcome Sir Kenneth Branagh as our patron for our Shakespeare on Screen programme, a year-long series of projects and events which form part of the global celebrations marking 400 years of Shakespeare.

Shakespeare on Screen will present a diverse range of exciting productions celebrating Shakespeare's life, legacy and enduring appeal, particularly as depicted on film. With a history of bringing the bard to the big screen, Kenneth is the perfect champion for this ambitious programme of works.

The programme will include a new feature film, two shorts from all-female filmmaking teams, three artists' animations and a documentary examining Shakespeare's screen legacy, with more activities to be announced later.

Some of these productions will be screened nationally as well as forming part of the British Council's ambitious Shakespeare Lives programme, which will see a range of exciting content toured internationally in partnership with the BFI. 

Inspiring storytellers

 "Much of my work has involved bringing Shakespeare to the stage and the screen, so I'm looking forward to working with Film London as their patron for Shakespeare on Screen" says Kenneth. "Storytellers at every stage of their careers continue to draw from the playwright's work, so it is fitting that this project - through an ambitious series of brand new commissions - showcases emerging and established talent alike. It is a pleasure to be involved with a project which aims to bring his work to countless new audiences, inspiring as many people as possible along the way."

Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, welcomed Kenneth as patron for the programme, saying "There are few people as inextricably linked with Shakespeare as Sir Kenneth Branagh, and as a writer, director and actor he has helped capture the imagination of untold thousands. Having him as our patron for Shakespeare on Screen is therefore a real honour, and it is also very fitting given his work with our Chairman David Parfitt on films such as Much Ado About Nothing and Henry V."

"David's input is incredibly valuable too; having produced the Academy Award-winning Shakespeare in Love his oversight and guidance of these projects is hugely important. Each of our new commissions is exciting in its own right, and their sheer variety demonstrates the tremendous reach of Shakespeare's influence and the ability of his work to translate effortlessly across genres, formats and borders."

Shakespeare on Screen projects

Shakespeare India: The Hungry

Produced through our Microwave International: Shakespeare India scheme, this UK-India co-production is written and directed by Bornila Chatterjee (Let's Be Out, The Sun Is Shining) and co-written and produced by Tanaji Dasgupta and Kurban Kassam (20,000 Days on Earth).

The film is a contemporary retelling of Shakespearian tragedy 'Titus Andronicus', and explores patriarchy and corruption in Indian business and politics against the setting of an Indian wedding.

Shakespeare's Sister

Our Shakespeare's Sister project, in partnership with the British Council, addresses gender disparity within the industry, with funding and support for two all-female filmmaking teams to produce a short film inspired by Shakespeare.

The six shortlisted projects are below, with the two finalists to be announced in the New Year.

  • Marina and Adrienne (inspired by 'Pericles, Price of Tyre') by writer-director Lucy Campbell and producer Loran Dunn
  • Some Sweet Oblivious Antidote (drawing on Shakespearian quotes for dialogue) by director Christiana Ebohon, writer Moya O'Shea and producer Fiona Gillies
  • The Players (inspired by 'Twelfth Night' and 'As You Like It') by director Aurora Fearnley, writer Abigail Tarttelin and producer Jude Goldrei
  • WYRDOES (inspired by 'Macbeth') by writer-director Nat Luurtsema and producers Jennifer Eriksson and Iona Westlake
  • The Lovers' Guide to Hunting (inspired by 'A Midsummer Night's Dream') by director Ita Fitzgerald, writer Laura Evelyn and producer Janet Marrett
  • The Tempest (inspired by 'The Tempest') by director Debs Paterson, writer Melissa Iqbal and producer Jo Allan

Still Shakespeare

Four short Shakespeare-inspired animated films are being created by artist filmmakers, in partnership with the London Shakespeare Centre at King's College London and animation companies Film Club at Th1ng and Sherbet.

The contemporary moving image artworks will respond to iconic Shakespeare imagery in ways that make academic research on the playwright and his work accessible to a wider audience.

The artist filmmakers involved in the project are Shaun Clark, Sharon Liu, Farouq Suleiman and Jonathan Bairstow, and Kim Noce.

All the World's a Screen - Shakespeare on Film

Produced for BBC Arena, this documentary will look at the complex history, artistic contradictions and cultural achievements of Shakespeare, as translated into moving image. The film will be co-produced by Arena series editor Anthony Wall and Film London Chief Executive Adrian Wootton, directed by David Thompson and written by David Thompson and Adrian Wootton.

The documentary will explore Shakespeare's interrelationship with film, why creative talent is still drawn to the challenges and opportunities of translating Shakespeare for film and television, and why audiences continue to respond.


Film London is part of the Shakespeare400 consortium celebrating Shakespeare's quatercentenary year. Shakespeare400 is coordinated by King's College London.

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