Film Fest in November presents at the Norgan Theatre: Ali and Ava.
Our November feature is a romantic drama, directed by acclaimed British writer-director Clio Barnard. Set in the working class English city of Bradford. It is spearheaded by two soulful, likeable performances by Claire Rushbrook and Adeel Akhtar. Rushbrook anchors as the big-hearted Ava, while Akhtar’s jovial vibes and ready zingers soften a lingering melancholy. That Barnard eventually dispels altogether in a big hug of a finale.

A bundle of good humour and nervous energy, Ali (Adeel Akhtar) is a British Pakistani working-class landlord who forges close bonds with his tenants. One day, while picking up one of his tenants’ children from school, he offers a lift to Ava (Claire Rushbrook), an Irish-born teacher and single mother of five. They bond almost instantly through their love of music, though Ali favours the high energy of Buzzcocks and hip-hop while Ava takes refuge in the quieter comforts of Bob Dylan and Karen Dalton. Despite their divergent backgrounds, differences in their stages of life, and the colour of their skin, despite the fact of Ali’s failing marriage and Ava’s fraught relationship with her adult and adolescent children, each finds themself irresistibly drawn to the other. But can their mutual desire transcend a barrage of personal obstacles?

The film is full of joy and hope in the face of adversity and prejudice. That’s largely down to the exuberance of Adeel Akhtar and the sensitivity of Claire Rushbrook.

Click here for the trailer:

It screens on Monday, November 21, 2022 at 7:15 pm at the Norgan Theatre in Palmerston.

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