Director David Leon will present his debut feature film – the hard-hitting and critically acclaimed ORTHODOX – at a special Q&A screening at Tyneside Cinema on Thursday 10 March.
Shot in and around Newcastle, the film stars Giacomo Mancini (Top Boy), Christopher Fairbank (Auf Wiedersehen Pet, Alien) and Michael Smiley (The Lobster, Kill List) alongside Stephen Graham (This Is England, Boardwalk Empire), as Benjamin – an Orthodox Jew whose decision to take up boxing as a means of self-defence leads to him being alienated from his religious community and a series of catastrophic events that change his life forever.
Exploring the tension between religious commitment and the strains of a modern secular society, ORTHODOX delves deep into the world of Jewish culture, boxing clubs and the criminal underworld. “Benjamin is a man caught between two worlds,” explains Leon, "the Orthodox Jewish community and mainstream life, yet the challenges he faces are much like those that we all have to confront. Through the decisions he makes he becomes an ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances.”
Leon was supported on the early development of ORTHODOX through Film4ward – a partnership between NFM and Film4 to identify and support the most creative and distinctive writers and writer-directors in the North East in developing a feature film package. During the six-month programme the selected participants worked with mentors Kate Leys and Ivana Mackinnon from early treatment stage onwards, and were supported via script development sessions, industry workshops and remote mentoring via Skype to produce a commissionable package to present to Film4 and the wider industry.
When: Thursday 10 March, 6pm – c.8pm
Where: Tyneside Cinema (Roxy), 10 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 6QG
Tickets are available from Tyneside Cinema’s Box Office in person or by phone (0191 227 5500), or online.
Please note the following BBFC classification advice: very strong language, violence, sexualised violence.
About David Leon
Screen International Star of Tomorrow, director David Leon was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne. His short film Man and Boy won Best Narrative Short at the Tribeca Film Festival and his script Driven appeared on the Brit list in 2013. Orthodox, Leon's third short film as writer/director, was accepted into several international festivals including the 58th BFI London Film Festival. The feature-length version of ORTHODOX was completed in 2015 and earned him a longlisting for the Douglas Hickox award by BIFA for best debut Director.