Exclusive experiences announced for Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House

8 - 21 August 2019

• Antonio Banderas joins Pedro Almodóvar to present his award-winning performance in Pain and Glory
• The Crown creator Peter Morgan gives a rare live interview on screenwriting and his greatest inspiration William Goldman, writer of The Princess Bride
• Cast members of This is England confirmed to make special guest appearances
• Francis Lee and Josh O’Connor, director and lead actor of God’s Own Country, introduce their critically acclaimed film
• Celebrated British director Peter Webber opens the closing night premiere of his latest creation Inna de Yard
• Live pianist performs ahead of screening of the seminal film The Piano

Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House - the ultimate open-air cinema experience – returns this August, bringing film fans closer to the stars and filmmakers shaping the world of cinema today.

Alongside the main courtyard screenings, a series of incredible experiences, from exclusive on-stage introductions, specially curated DJ sets and live performances, to insightful panel discussions from industry insiders, offers audiences the rare opportunity to get closer to those at the very heart of cinema for an outdoor film experience like no other.


Each year, stars of the film world come to Somerset House to introduce screenings from the season’s handpicked selection.


Film4 Summer Screen is thrilled to announce that Antonio Banderas will join legendary Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar to introduce the festival’s opening night premiere, Pain and Glory. Having appeared in Almodóvar’s films since the beginning of both of their careers, Banderas plays filmmaker Salvador Mallo in this semi-autobiographical take on Almodóvar’s life and work, a role for which he has already been awarded ‘Best Actor’ at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.


Members of the cast of Shane Meadows’ unflinching BAFTA-award winning film This is England come together on stage to introduce the beloved British film, which follows the story of Shaun, a young boy who becomes involved with a group of skinheads in 1980s Midlands. Jo Hartley, who played Shaun’s no-nonsense mother, is already confirmed to attend, with more expected to join on the night.


Director and writer of God’s Own Country Francis Lee joins his lead actor Josh O’Connor (soon to play Prince Charles in The Crown) to introduce their critically acclaimed film. Lee’s grittily tender love story sees O’Connor as a young Yorkshire farmer whose life is transformed by the arrival of a Romanian migrant worker. 


British director Peter Webber (Girl with a Pearl Earring) comes to Somerset House for the closing night premiere of his feel-good film Inna de Yard, which documents a group of superstar reggae legends as they gather together to record a new album of infectious hits, in a film that stands as the Buena Vista Social Club of the reggae world.


Completing your ultimate cinema experience, Film4 Summer Screen’s popular parallel event Behind the Screen returns in 2019, with illustrious film making talent revealing stories and insights from their lives inside the industry, and film location tours around Somerset House.

This year’s Behind the Screen programme includes:


As creator of the major Netflix series The Crown and with films such as The Queen, Frost/Nixon, The Last King of Scotland and Rush, Peter Morgan has established himself as one of Britain’s most astute storytellers.  The in-demand screenwriter joins the Behind the Screen programme for a special interview event, discussing the works and legacy of the famed American writer William Goldman, a major influence on Morgan’s own life and art.  Goldman’s celebrated oeuvre includes the screenplay adaption of his 1973 novel The Princess Bride, a highlight from this season’s festival.


A panel of experts and enthusiasts - including film journalist Charles Gant; curator of BFI’s 1990s season, Anna Bogutskaya; musician and filmmaker Elizabeth Sankey, and producer Stephen Woolley – take a special look back at the films of 1999.  Using the evening’s 20th anniversary screening of The Matrix as their starting point, they will debate whether it was indeed the greatest year in modern movie history, as many film fans have argued, revisiting the favourites - from American Beauty to Magnolia – and also the flops.  The audience will be encouraged to have their say too.


Behind the Screen delves into the uncelebrated art of casting for cinema during a fascinating conversation with Shaheen Baig, the British casting director responsible for festival pick God’s Own Country, as well as the likes of Black Mirror, Peaky Blinders, Fighting with my Family and the forthcoming screen adaptation of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.  Over an evening of captivating stories and insights into this hidden aspect of the industry, Shaheen will discuss how she discovers film’s unforgettable faces and makes the stars align.


Channel 4’s Random Acts returns for an exclusive showcase of short films from some of the boldest animators, artists and writers from around the UK. Random Acts’ programmer Jake Cunningham will join some of the directors and stars of the films following their preview screenings to talk about their work.


Film4 Summer Screen audiences uniquely sit inside a real-life movie set. Somerset House’s courtyard has become a firm favourite with film location scouts for its stunning architecture at every turn; scenes have been shot here from Mary Poppins Returns, X-Men First Class and Goldeneye.  On selected evenings before the screening, audiences can discover these locations and behind-the-scenes stories on a special guided tour.


Each night, the Film4 Summer Screen team invites a live DJ to mix and perform a set inspired by the upcoming screening, as the sun sets over the London skyline.  

Ahead of The Piano, the festival is thrilled to present a live piano performance from Swedish-Iranian contemporary pianist, Shida Shahabi, who has composed numerous film scores in her native Sweden and whose debut album Homes was released last year.

For the 200th screening at Film4 Summer Screen, co-founder of music movement Jazz re:freshed Top Rock will open Black Panther with his essential selection before London-based drummer Kwesi Yvorra and his band Nuvorrian perform a rousing live set.  The live band will get the Friday night screening started, with a mad mix of afro futuristic sounds and propulsive grooves ahead of the mighty Marvel masterpiece.

This year’s DJ line-up also includes Will White of electronic music duo Propellerheads, who contributed to the original soundtrack of The Matrix with their music featuring in a standout scene from the film, and DJ Jonbenet Blonde, founder of the legendary London LGBTQ+ collective Sink The Pink, who brings the ultimate 90s cool kid party to Somerset House’s courtyard ahead of Clueless.  Emerging stars of radio will grace the decks at the festival too, with special guest appearances from NTS’ Zakia Sewell for This is England and Balamii's Aisha Zoe for Inna de Yard.


Film4 Summer Screen audiences are welcome to bring along drinks and snacks for screenings, though they can also sample the tasty street food from London’s pop-up star Jimmy Garcia, who brings his BBQ Club to the festival for the first time, and Japanese mochi maestros Little Moons.  As soon as ticket holders enter the site, they can discover these stands, with BBQ Club serving up fully-loaded, flame-grilled burgers, hot dogs and fries, and Little Moons offering their creamy helpings of artisan gelato, wrapped in soft and delightfully delicate mochi dough, all alongside a fully licensed bar and a pop-up shop with essentials for the evening.

To make it an extra special experience, ticket holders can reserve a Date Night or Friends Sharer package, full of film favourite food and drink, or a handcrafted picnic hamper from Bryn Williams, Somerset House’s resident acclaimed Welsh chef.  The hampers feature a feast of artisan treats, including Duck Rillettes with peach chutney, Prawn Cocktail with a Bloody Mary sauce, Shaved fennel, orange and poppy salad, strawberry trifle with Pimm’s jelly, and macarons.


Especially for the festival’s screening of The Piano, Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House has teamed up with collective Girls on Tops to produce its first-ever t-shirt celebrating director Jane Campion.

For The Piano, the trail-blazing New Zealander TV and filmmaker became only the second female director to be nominated for Best Director Oscar, and the first (and to this day, only) woman to win the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival.

Girls on Tops produce bold, simple shirts that share the names of iconic women in cinema.  Film fans can access an exclusive offer of a Jane Campion t-shirt combined with a ticket to the festival screening of The Piano for £30, saving a total of £15.75 from the regular prices separately.


Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House is proud to partner with the Jamaica Tourist Board for the closing night premiere of Inna de Yard, a cinematic masterpiece from Picturehouse Entertainment that perfectly encapsulates the soul of the Caribbean island country.  Fans of Inna de Yard will have the chance to enter into a prize draw to win a return trip to Jamaica and everyone attending on the evening will be able to visit Somerset House’s summer exhibition Get Up, Stand Up Now – which features numerous artists of Jamaican origin – for free, courtesy of the Jamaica Tourist Board.

FOR PRESS ENQUIRIES, PLEASE CONTACT: press@somersethouse.org.uk/0207 845 4624


Dates: 8 - 21 August 2019

Address: Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA

Tickets: Available via somersethouse.org.uk


Address:  Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA

Transport:  Underground: Temple, Embankment / Rail:  Charing Cross, Waterloo, Blackfriars

Website:  www.somersethouse.org.uk

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Somerset House Twitter: @SomersetHouse

Somerset House Instagram: @SomersetHouse

Hashtag: #Film4SummerScreen


Inspiring contemporary culture

One of the city’s most spectacular and well-loved spaces, Somerset House is a new kind of arts centre in the heart of London, designed for today’s audiences, artists and creatives – an inspirational community where contemporary culture is imagined, created and experienced.

From its 18th Century origins, Somerset House has played a central role in our society as a place where our culture and collective understanding of the world is shaped and defined. In 2000, it began its reinvention as a cultural powerhouse and home for arts and culture today, creating unique and stimulating experiences for the public, bringing them into direct contact with ideas from the greatest artists, makers and thinkers of our time. Our distinctive and dynamic year-round programme spans the contemporary arts in all its forms, from cutting-edge exhibitions and installations to annual festivals, seasonal events in the courtyard including Film4 Summer Screen, Summer Series and Skate, and an extensive learning and engagement programme.

As well as welcoming over 3million visitors annually, Somerset House houses the largest and most diverse creative communities in the country – from one-person start-ups to successful creative enterprises including British Fashion Council, Dance Umbrella, Improbable Theatre, Hofesh Shechter Company, and Dartmouth Films.  In 2016 we launched Somerset House Studios – a new experimental workspace connecting artists, makers and thinkers with audiences. Currently housing over 80 artists and Makerversity (a community of over 250 emergent makers), the Studios are a platform for the development of new creative projects and collaboration, promoting work that pushes bold ideas, engages with urgent issues and pioneers new technologies. www.somersethouse.org.uk


Film4 is available for free to everyone with digital TV. A daily line-up of great movies guarantees a choice for every type of film fan, including the best of British film-making, US independent films, Hollywood blockbusters, mainstream drama and comedy.

Film4 is Channel 4 Television’s feature film division, which develops and co-finances films and has an established track record for working with the most distinctive and innovative talent in UK and international filmmaking.  Film4 has developed and/or co-financed many of the most successful UK films of recent years - Academy Award-winners such as Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite, Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Lenny Abrahamson’s Room, Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, Asif Kapadia’s Amy, Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire and Phyllida Lloyd’s The Iron Lady, in addition to critically-acclaimed award-winners such as Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War, Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here, Rungano Nyoni’s I Am Not a Witch, Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, Todd Haynes’ Carol, Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, Shane Meadows’ This is England  and Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin. Forthcoming releases include Chris Morris’s The Day Shall Come, Armando Iannucci’s The Personal History of David Copperfield, Michael Winterbottom’s Greed, Sarah Gavron’s ‘Untitled Girls Film’ and Coky Giedroyc’s adaptation of Caitlin Moran’s How To Build a Girl.

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