God's Own Country to open EIFF

Gay romance kicks-off 71st festival.

by Amber Wilkinson

Josh O'Connor and Alec Secareanu in God's Own Country - springtime in Yorkshire: isolated young sheep farmer Johnny Saxby numbs his daily frustrations with binge drinking and casual sex, until the arrival of a Romanian migrant worker, employed for the lambing season, ignites an intense relationship that sets Johnny on a new path.
Josh O'Connor and Alec Secareanu in God's Own Country - springtime in Yorkshire: isolated young sheep farmer Johnny Saxby numbs his daily frustrations with binge drinking and casual sex, until the arrival of a Romanian migrant worker, employed for the lambing season, ignites an intense relationship that sets Johnny on a new path. Photo: Courtesy of Sundance Film Festival
British drama God's Own Country has been announced as the opening night gala for this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival on June 21.

The debut feature by Francis Lee tells the story of a gay romance that blossoms between the angry young son of a Yorkshire sheep farmer and a Romanian migrant worker. The film - which stars Josh O'Connor and Alec Secareanu alongside Ian Hart and Gemma Jones - premiered at Sundance and also played in Berlin.

Johnny and Gheorghe, played by Josh O'Connor and Alec Secareanu, in God's Own Country
Johnny and Gheorghe, played by Josh O'Connor and Alec Secareanu, in God's Own Country Photo: Courtesy of EIFF
EIFF artistic director Mark Adams said:: “We are thrilled to be staging the UK premiere of Francis Lee’s accomplished debut God's Own Country. This hotly-tipped feature debut is one to watch in this incredible year for independent film and perfectly reflects the Festival’s ongoing dedication to delivering audiences the most original and artistically accomplished work in international cinema.”

Francis Lee added: "It’s a great privilege that God's Own Country has been selected as the Opening Night film of the Edinburgh International Film Festival. After the incredible critical and audience responses to the film in both Sundance and Berlin earlier in the year, I'm thrilled to bring God's Own Country to the UK for the first time.”

Following its UK premiere at the Festival, distributor Picturehouse Entertainment will be releasing the film in cinemas on September 1.

Tickets go on sale at 10am today (Wednesday May 10). For more information visit www.edfilmfest.org.uk.

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