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Amma Asante's A United Kingdom to open 60th BFI Festival

Rosamund Pike as Ruth Williams and David Oyelowo as Seretse Khama in
A United Kingdom [Photo credit: Pathé]

BLACK BRITISH director Amma Asante follows her award-winning film Belle with A United Kingdom - a period tale of interracial relationship.

A United Kingdom, the story of the real-life relationship between an African king and the English office worker he married in 1947, has just been selected as the opening film of the 60th British Film Institute (BFI) Film Festival.

Clare Stewart, BFI London Film Festival director, said: “Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom is testament to a defiant and enduring love story that also reveals a complex, painful chapter in British history.

"We are proud to be opening the 60th BFI London Film Festival with a film of such contemporary relevance, one that celebrates the triumph of love and intelligence over intolerance and oppression, and that confirms Asante as a distinctive and important British filmmaker.”

The film stars Slema's David Oyelowo as Seretse Khama, who in 1925 became king of Bechuanaland (then a British protectorate, now the republic of Botswana) aged four, and Rosamund Pike as Ruth Williams, the Londoner who married him despite considerable controversy at the highest political levels, both in apartheid South Africa and in the UK.

The film will receive its European premiere on October 5 at the Odeon Leicester Square, attended by cast and filmmakers with Asante, Oyelowo and Pike expected on the red carpet.

Director Asante commented: “It's a great privilege that A United Kingdom has been selected as the Opening Night Film of the BFI London Film Festival. The Festival means a lot to me personally, having showcased my very first film, A Way of Life, here and been honoured with the UK Film Talent Award."

The 60th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express takes place from October 5 -16.

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