This prestigious event, hosted at the University of Northampton, was held on 2 April, the day before the film’s UK premier at the Royal Opera House in London, which was simultaneously streamed live in cinemas across the country.
The event was made all the more memorable by Director, Icíar Bollaín, travelling to attend, bringing to life the creative process for the Northampton High girls. Senior School students from Years 7 to 13 were treated to the film screening following a tour of the University. Whilst pupils were gripped by the film, Sixth Form girls had the unique opportunity of interviewing Icíar in Spanish, discussing the role of women in the film industry and learning about the film making process.
After the film, Icíar Bollaín participated in a lively Q&A session with all students, sharing her insights into the film and encouraging the girls to consider careers in the film industry.
The film is based on Carlos Acosta’s autobiography, No Way Home: a Cuban Dancer’s Story. The Cuban dancer broke boundaries and became the first black Principal dancer of The Royal Ballet. He was the Company’s Principal Guest Artist for 17 years, and retired from classical ballet in 2016. Acosta will take up the appointment of Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet in January 2020.
YULI shows Acosta growing up in Cuba, becoming a dancer and moving to London. The film follows his relationship with his father, who gave him the nickname Yuli, and encouraged him to leave his country and forge a career on the international stage.
Written by Paul Laverty (I, Daniel Blake), the film won best screenplay at the San Sebastian International Film Festival and received five nominations for the Spanish ‘Goya’ awards including Best New Actor for Carlos Acosta, Best Cinematography and Best Adapted Screenplay.