UK premiere of cinematic ballet with Darcey Bussell and BBC Concert Orchestra to be unveiled at the 40th Cambridge Film Festival.

On November 24th, Darcey Bussell will join the Festival – along with directors Jeff Tudor, Steven De Beul, Ben Tesseur and producer Adrienne Liron – for a press launch at the University Arms Hotel followed by a special screening and post-film Q&A hosted by Chris Mann from BBC Radio Cambridgeshire at the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse. Tickets to the screening can be booked here.

Live action and cutting-edge CGI animation seamlessly combine in this modern cinematic retelling of the 150-year-old ballet, COPPELIA. Featuring Darcey Bussell and a world-class ensemble of dancers, including Michaela DePrince, Daniel Camargo and Vito Mazzeo, the film will be unveiled during its UK premiere at the Cambridge Film Festival (18-25 Nov) later this month.

The family-friendly classic tale, where love saves the day, is reinvigorated in this beautifully animated, live-action feature that tells the story entirely through dance and music, giving viewers the opportunity to watch ballet in a completely different way. The music was composed especially for the film by Maurizio Malagnini (Call the Midwife, The Paradise) and performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Acclaimed director Jeff Tudor, who specialises in bringing dance and theatre productions to the big screen, initiated the idea under his Dutch-British banner 3 minutes West. He is directing alongside Belgian animation specialists Steven De Beul and Ben Tesseur.

The story unfolds as the peace of a quiet town is disrupted by the arrival of Doctor Coppelius (Vito Mazzeo), a sneaky man with a cunning plan. Swan, performed by the enchanting Michaela DePrince, suspects something is afoot. She must save her town and partner Franz (Daniel Camargo) from the Doctor, who plans to use their hearts to spark life into his 'perfect' robotic woman and take over.

Animation producers Submarine Animation (Netherlands), MotionWorks (Germany) and Lunanime (Belgium) worked alongside dance specialists 3 minutes West (UK / Netherlands) on the film. Two-dimensional backdrops play host to impressive three-dimensional elements; including Coppelius’s gigantic lair, populated by an army of female robots marching on their ballet pointes.

The film was inspired by Dutch National Ballet director and choreographer Ted Brandsen’s update of the 19th century comic ballet to the modern day with a timely twist.

Commenting on the film, Cambridge Film Trust’s Executive Director Matthew Webb said: “We are thrilled to be premiering Coppelia at the Cambridge Film Festival. This beguiling dance musical beautifully told through animation, live action and music, is seriously not to be missed. I am positive it will appeal to ballet fans as well as the young and those young at heart with its Disneyesque charms. Coppelia is the perfect pre-Christmas, panto-style, feel-good film only the hardest of hearts would not love; it’s just so hard not to be caught up in the luscious fantasy of it all."

“We are also thrilled that Darcey Bussell and the film’s directors are able to join us for the launch, special screening and post-film Q&A."


Keep up to date with the latest Cambridge Film Festival news on the University Arms Journal. Further information is available via camfilmfest.com and social media @camfilmfest (Twitter & Instagram), /cambridgefilmfestival (Facebook).