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Opening Gala: UK Premiere
We are proud to present the UK Premiere of a magnificent and epic new Dutch film in the presence of the director, actor and producer for our Gala opening film. ‘The Conductor’ is based on the true story of the Dutch born Antonia Brico. In the late 1920’s she was the world’s first woman who successfully conducted a large symphony orchestra.

United States, 1926: The Dutch, 24-year-old Antonia Brico (Christanne de Bruijn) was a child when she and her parents (Annet Malherbe and Raymond Thiry) immigrated to the United States. She dreams of becoming a conductor, but nobody takes her ambition seriously, even her piano teacher advises her against taking the entrance exam for the conservatory.

Because she has little to lose, she returns to her motherland, where she begs the famous conductor Mengelberg (Gijs Scholten van Aschat) to teach her conducting lessons. Mengelberg is not comfortable with the idea and sends her to Berlin where she, against all expectations, has a better chance as a woman to make it. After a two-year study at the State Academy of Music she becomes the first woman to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Emotional strain threatens to overwhelm her, when the love of her life puts her in a difficult position. What choice will Antonia make?

Supporting Women Filmmakers

The film contains superb and enticing extracts of classical music. This opening film reflects on one of the main themes of our Festival: 'Re-Discovering Women Directors'.

Our thanks to Shooting Star for this screening.

NB: This year, for the first time in Dutch history, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra appointed a woman as its Chief Conductor Karina Canellakis and the film contains superb and enticing extracts of classical music especially performed for ‘The Conductor’.

We are delighted to welcome Maria Peters (director), Christanne de Bruijn (actor) and Dave Schram (producer) to introduce their film.

Gala Tickets £29
Thu 8 Aug: Gala Dinner 18:30 - film at 20:30 approx
Please meet at Brasserie Blanc, Chichester, with your Gala ticket.

Also screens Fri 9 Aug 16:15 (Film Only)
and due to popular demand Sun 25 Aug 13:00 (Film Only)

Festival Patron - Thank You!