Steve Coogan will present his acclaimed performance in award-winning new drama Philomena at the IFI on Friday, 18th October at 18.00. One of Britain’s leading comics and creator of the legendary TV and radio ‘personality’ Alan Partridge, as well as the star of The Look of Love and 24 Hour Party People, Coogan’s gently serious performance as journalist Martin Sixsmith alongside Oscar-winning star Dame Judi Dench won critical acclaim at the Venice Film Festival where the film also won the Best Screenplay award. This special screening is presented by the IFI in association with Pathé and Twentieth Century Fox.
Philomena Lee, an Irishwoman in her seventies, became pregnant as a teenager in 1952.Her family abandoned her out of shame and sent her to a convent in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary. When her son, Anthony, was only three he taken from the convent against her will and sold to an American family for adoption. Philomena spent the next 50 years trying in vain to establish his whereabouts.
Through a lucky set of circumstances she happened to meet Martin Sixsmith, an ex-BBC foreign correspondent and former director of communications for Tony Blair’s government. When Philomena tells Martin about her long search for her son, he realises that hers is a remarkable story. He arranges for the two of them to visit the United States to find out what happened to Anthony.
Together they embark on an extraordinary road trip. On the way they learn from each other, see a different point of view, and find reasons for laughter and joy in a quest that is often underpinned by sadness.
Philomena is released at the IFI and on general release from the 1st November 2013.