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Asif Kapadia’s Creature gets a UK release date

Creature (Jeffrey Cirio) in CREATURE (photo by Moeez Ali)

BFI Distribution has announced that Creature, the new film from Academy Award-winning director Asif Kapadia (SENNA, AMY, DIEGO MARADONA), based on Akram Khan’s original concept and choreography, will be released in cinemas in the UK and Ireland on 24 February 2023.

Based on English National Ballet’s 2021 stage production, and produced by Uzma Hasan of Little House Productions, CREATURE is a genre-busting collaboration between Asif Kapadia and the Olivier Award-winning choreographer Akram Khan. The film’s World Premiere takes place at the 66th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express on Saturday 15 October 2022 in NFT1, BFI Southbank at 3.30pm.

In a dilapidated former Arctic research station, Creature (Jeffrey Cirio) is unknowingly enlisted by a military brigade into an experimental programme. He is tested and experimented on by a zealous Doctor (Stina Quagebeur), overseen by the sensitive Captain (Ken Saruhashi), for his mental and physical ability to adapt to extreme cold, isolation and homesickness; all vital qualities in mankind’s proposed colonisation of the ‘final frontiers’ on earth and beyond.

Creature meets and falls in love with Marie (Erina Takahashi), a cleaner who shows him kindness and compassion; together they dream of escape. But the remorseless Military is led by the violent Major (Fabian Reimair) who becomes obsessed with Marie and offers her passage from the doomed planet. Marie finds herself caught between the two men and Creature begins to lose his grasp on reality with tragic consequences.

CREATURE takes inspiration from Georg Büchner’s seminal play Woyzeck and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. This vivid cinematic experience is a beautiful, tragic tale of an outsider’s search for belonging, the insatiable desires of the powerful, and the enduring hope found in human connection and compassion.

Director Asif Kapadia said, “I wanted CREATURE to be cinema, for people who love films, who love world cinema, the arts, but who perhaps have never seen dance, as well as fans of Akram Khan and English National Ballet.”

The British director is best known for his trilogy of films exploring the price of fame; the BAFTA-winning SENNA (2010), AMY (2015) – which won both the Best Documentary Oscar and BAFTA – and BAFTA-nominated DIEGO MARADONA (2019). His debut fiction feature, THE WARRIOR (2001) won BAFTAs for Outstanding British Film and Outstanding Debut. He directed episodes of the Netflix series Mindhunter and series directed the critically acclaimed music series 1971: The Year Music Changed Everything (Apple TV+). He also co-directed and exec produced the mental health series The Me You Can’t See (Apple TV+), starring Oprah, Prince Harry and Lady Gaga. In 2022 he will create a new four-part series about Camden’s musical history for Disney+.

Creature is Akram Khan’s third work for English National Ballet, following Dust and his reimagined version of Giselle. It returns to the stage next spring, at Sadler’s Wells, London from Thursday 23 March – Saturday 1 April 2023.

CREATURE is directed by Asif Kapadia; choreography and stage direction is by Akram Khan. An English National Ballet production, the producer is Uzma Hasan (FIRSTBORN, THE INFIDEL) of Little House Productions. Director of photography is Daniel Landin (UNDER THE SKIN, RAY & LIZ) and the editor is Sylvie Landra (LEON, THE FIFTH ELEMENT). The original music is by Vincent Lamagna and sound design is by Stephen Griffiths (SENNA, TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY). Visual and costume design is by Tim Yip (CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON).

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