May June programme – A word from our programming team.

We are feeling cheered about the film world generally, and the British film industry in particular, based on this programme, with six high quality film debuts (four of which are British) and twelve British films in the next two months, things are looking good. There are also five stellar French films to bring on the holiday mood, and generally something for everyone.

We have a host of great documentaries with Michael Caine introducing an entertaining visit to the swinging sixties (My Generation, 5 & 6 May), the restorative power of running (Skid Row Marathon, 9 May), our connection to song birds (The Messenger, 19 May) and the moving story of two young Nepalese women, reclaiming their circus skills after being trafficked to India as children (Even When I Fall, 11 June), three of which are British made (even when their subject matter isn’t).

God’s Own Country, Ghost Stories and Beast are all British directorial debuts, covering rural love, hauntings and a Jersey-set thriller; all bring new voices to their genres, with God’s Own Country winning numerous awards last year. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and On Chesil Beach are adaptations of much-loved books, both with a very strong sense of their British locations. Maxine Peake is, as ever, superb as a working class comedian trying to get a break on the northern comedy circuit in the 1970s and early 80s in Funny Cow; and we enjoy with a feeling of poignancy Sir John Hurt’s final performance in That Good Night.

Our array of French films covers nostalgia for young love (My Golden Days), a celebration of menopausal women (I Got Life!), the thrilling vibrancy amidst tragedy of the ACT-UP Aids activists in 1990s Paris (120 BPM), a tense custody battle over a young boy (Custody, another fine debut) and the joy of Juliette Binoche looking for love in Let the Sunshine In from auteur Claire Denis.

LGBT cinema is building strength and bringing its charms to the mainstream, and we are really looking forward to Love, Simon, a coming-of-age film about a gay teen, which is charming audiences everywhere. It is great to bring back the wonderful God’s Own Country and 120 BPM is a powerful, energetic, vibrant and moving account of aids activism in the early 90s. Award-winning The Wound has had to deal with criticism for its depiction of gay characters from South Africa’s Xhosa community but bears witness to new voices in world cinema.

We are thrilled with our industry Q&As on offer in May. Simon Quinn was the animation producer on Isle of Dogs, overseeing the team of animators, model-makers, set designers and puppet makers in this intricate and detailed work from Wes Anderson. He has a wealth of knowledge about this film and the animation industry, having also worked on Fantastic Mr Fox and Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie. The work of editor Chris Wyatt and sound designer Anna Bertmark (who won a BIFA for the film) added greatly to the atmosphere and sensitivity of God’s Own Country and they will tell us more about their work on the film with director Francis Lee. They each have brilliant industry experience, Chris having worked with Shane Meadows (on This Is England and Dead Man’s Shoes), Carol Morley (Dreams of a Life and The Falling) and Yann Demange (’71 and the upcoming White Boy Rick) and Anna on the recent documentary Walk With Me, Guy Myhill’s The Goob and The Queen for Stephen Frears amongst many others.

And last, but by no means least, join us and sing along with The Greatest Showman. You know you will love it!