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Brit Film Festival Set to Start

Gemma Arterton as Tamara Drewe.

Fourteen British films will make their debut in Moscow from Thursday as the New British Film Festival begins at 35MM.

The black comedy “Skeletons,” about two exorcists and the secrets they discover people keep in their closets — a winner at the Edinburgh International Film Festival — will open the series to be followed by a shoal of some of the best received recent British films.

“All films from the program are highlights from all the international film festivals — from Cannes to Toronto, Venice, Sundance,” said one of the programming directors, Alexei Laifurov. “But being completely honest, my selection principle is quite simple: Every time I ask myself, would I recommend this film to a friend, and in the case of every title from the program the answer is positive.”

Other highly anticipated films to premier include director Mark Romanek’s “Never Let Me Go,” based on the Kazuo Ishiguro novel and starring Keira Knightley, in which three young adults deal with chilling realities upon leaving boarding school; Daniel Barber’s “Harry Brown,” a crime drama starring Michael Caine, in which an elderly ex-serviceman seeks to avenge the murder of his best friend; and Christopher Morris’ “Four Lions,” a drama about a British would-be suicide bomber, which manages to be both very funny and very sad.

Guests this year include Nick Whitfield, writer and director of “Skeletons,” as well as Posy Simmonds, the cartoonist whose work has been made into the successful film “Tamara Drewe,” directed by Stephen Frears and starring Gemma Arterton, which will also be shown.

Other films to look out for include the documentary “The Shock Doctrine,” based on Naomi Klein’s best selling book, and John Hurt reprising his role as Quentin Crisp in “An Englishman in New York.”

New British Film Festival runs till Nov. 7. Formula Kino Gorizont. 21/10 Komsomolsky Prospect. Metro Frunzenskaya. Tel. 795-3795,

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