Ali & Ava to have Bradford homecoming premiere

Ali & Ava to have Bradford homecoming premiere

A Special Presentation with The Mayor of West Yorkshire

The National Science and Media Museum’s Pictureville Cinema is set to host a special homecoming premiere of feature film Ali & Ava, written and directed by West Yorkshire’s Clio Barnard and set in and around Bradford. The screening is a Special Presentation with the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, and hosted in partnership with Screen Yorkshire which part-financed the film.

Ali & Ava is screening at Pictureville Cinema on Thursday 14 October at 19.30 as part of The BFI 65th London Film Festival’s UK-wide preview events, with members of the cast and crew in attendance. Book tickets

Ava (Claire Rushbrook) Ali (Adeel Akhtar) in ALI & AVA. Image: Dean Rogers for Avali Film Ltd

Watch the trailer

Filmed in and around the Bradford district, the film follows Ali, an exuberant music enthusiast and landlord struggling with the turmoil from the breakdown of his marriage. Ava is a pragmatic middle-aged teaching assistant and matriarch to a large and close-knit family, whose latest grandchild has just been born. When a chance encounter unites them, Ali and Ava begin a tentative friendship formed around their shared love of music that quickly blossoms into an unexpected romance.

Deftly weaving together conventions of social realism and romantic drama, Barnard presents an intelligent, warm and nuanced depiction of 21st century Britain, a love story that touches upon, amongst other issues, race and class dynamics, neurodiversity and surviving domestic abuse. Bolstered by Claire Rushbrook and Adeel Akhtar’s authentic performances, Ali & Ava is a must see. Barnard’s empathetic direction makes these everyday characters feel extraordinary.

Ali & Ava is written and directed by Clio Barnard, director of the critically acclaimed The Selfish Giant (2013) and documentary The Arbor (2010) which followed the life of Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar. The film is produced by Barnard’s long-term collaborator, Tracy O’Riordan.

Filmed and set in Bradford, Ali & Ava is financed by Screen Yorkshire, BBC Films, BFI (awarding National Lottery funding).

Ali & Ava will receive its UK premiere on 13 October as the Mayor of London’s Special Presentation at The BFI 65th London Film Festival and will be released in the UK & Ireland by Altitude on 4 February 2022. For more information visit

Tickets for the special preview screening of Ali & Ava on Thursday 14 October are now available to book via the National Science and Media Museum website.

Ali (Adeel Akhtar) and Ava (Claire Rushbrook) Image: Dean Rogers. © Avali Film Ltd

It’s an honour to work with Screen Yorkshire in bringing this very special presentation of Ali & Ava to Bradford. I’m passionate about championing the power of the arts and creative industries in our region, and it’s wonderful to see how people in Bradford supported the making of the film and helped to make it such a success. Building on the momentum of Ali & Ava, I hope my Creative New Deal, which was launched earlier this year, will continue to put West Yorkshire talent at the heart of the creative industry, generating jobs and kick-starting local economies.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire

Ali & Ava is based on real people Clio and I got to know through making our previous films in Yorkshire and is a tribute to their generosity of spirit in sharing their stories and the love of their city. From cast, to crew, to locations, local people played an integral role, so a big thank you to the wonderful diverse local talent we found to work in front and behind the camera and the welcome we received. It’s very important to be screening the film in Bradford. It is going to be an exciting night as many of the cast and crew haven’t seen the film due to Covid, so it’s a wonderful opportunity for them to see their amazing hard work pay off.

Producer Tracy O’Riordan

We are really honoured to have been chosen as a host venue for the Mayor of West Yorkshire’s Special Presentation of ‘Ali & Ava’ which is set in the heart of the city we are proud to call our home. As with Clio Barnard’s previous works set in Bradford and West Yorkshire, we know this film will chime closely with the experience of our local communities and we can’t wait to welcome the cast and crew to experience the film alongside our audiences.

Kathryn Penny, Head of Screen and Cultural Engagement at the National Science and Media Museum

We’re so pleased to be supporting another of Clio’s films. Thought provoking, beautifully shot and with captivating performances from the cast, many of whom are from Bradford. 'Ali & Ava' is a tender love story with Yorkshire at its heart. We can’t wait to share it with audiences in Bradford, where it was filmed, for this very special preview screening.

Sally Joynson, Chief Executive at Screen Yorkshire