Foyle Film Festival to Screen Gerry Anderson’s ‘Love Letter’ To Derry in Historic Guildhall

Foyle Film Festival to Screen Gerry Anderson’s ‘Love Letter’ To Derry in Historic Guildhall

A film written and narrated by the much-loved broadcaster Gerry Anderson will screen at a special event in Derry’s Guildhall on Friday, November 21 as part of the Foyle Film Festival.

A City Dreaming was described by the late BBC presenter as his ‘love letter’ to the city.

The feature-length documentary is a series of personal and intimate recollections of Derry~Londonderry and its people. Using unseen archive and home movie footage, it is a story that weaves its way through half a century of history, told though the eyes of Gerry Anderson.

The narrative moves from the 1940s to the late 60s, during a time that saw the city rise from poverty and neglect, to hitting headlines across the world. It focuses on the warmth of a people who, despite living in relative poverty, maintained tremendous spirit and generosity.

The film was directed by Derry-born and BAFTA award-winning Mark McCauley. He said: 'Gerry was so proud of this work. It was a great pleasure spending time with him creating this film. Even whilst he was not in good health he showed incredible strength, passion and commitment. I hope people take the opportunity to come out and see this film.' 

Also paying tribute was the film’s executive producer Andrew Eaton, another Derry-born filmmaker: 'Gerry Anderson was a legend. This film is not only a love letter to his hometown but a celebration of his life and voice. I am very proud to be associated with it.' 

Bernie McLaughlin, Foyle Film Festival director, said: 'It is our honour to host this special screening in celebration of Gerry Anderson, a true cultural ambassador of Derry. When watching the film, people will see a personal and often moving account of Gerry’s memories of a city he was evidently so proud off.'

The screening will have a special introduction from producer Chris Martin and will be attended by Gerry’s family and close friends. Tickets are available from www.foylefilmfestival.org.

A City Dreaming is one of several feature documentaries competing in the festival’s Light in Motions awards. The winners will be announced at the closing night in Brunswick Moviebowl on Sunday, November 23.

Festival highlights include: the Northern Ireland premiere gala screening of Testament of Youth in Brunswick Moviebowl on November 19. Hotly tipped director James Kent will be in attendance to introduce his debut feature film that documents the famed pacifist Vera Brittain’s memoir from the time of the First World War. Starring Dominic West, Emily Watson and Miranda Richardson, the film has received rave reviews after opening at the London Film Festival earlier this month. On Saturday, November 23, the hell of the Holocaust will be explored in Night Will Fall. Introduced by producer Sally Angel, the film charts Britain’s army film unit-commissioned producer Sidney Bernstein's documentary record of the Nazi death camps.

The Foyle Film Festival is a flagship project of the Nerve Centre, supported by Northern Ireland Screen and Derry City Council.

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