Mira Nair talks about political theatre and documentary film making on BBC World News

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BBC World News and BBC.com have today revealed a host of new content celebrating culture and the arts.

Programming features exclusive access to the sets and creative worlds of some of the film industry’s leading directors plus the launch of arts and culture magazine show Front Row on BBC World News TV, as well as looking at what may be making waves at this year’s Oscars.

The content, which will be rolled out across the coming three months on the BBC’s international services, will offer audiences both new shows and regular favourites to satisfy the cultural appetite of the most discerning viewer.

The Art of Directing (fortnightly weekends from 23rd September – 3rd December)

This prestigious documentary series on BBC World News, presented by actress Cush Jumbo, follows six award-winning film directors as they go about their work.  Exclusive access to the sets and the creative worlds of some of the best film makers working today, including James Marsh, Mira Nair, Paulo Sorrentino, Xavier Dolan, Sally Potter and Mike Leigh, provides a special insight into just what inspires and motivates them, revealing what it takes to be a great director.

The Art of Directing: James Marsh

(Sat 23rd Sept 7am, 2pm & Sun 24th Sept 8pm)

In episode one we hear from acclaimed British director James Marsh on location for his new  film Night in Hatton Garden, about the infamous London jewel heist in 2015, featuring an outstanding cast of British talent including Michael Caine, Tom Courtney, Ray Winstone, and Jim Broadbent.

The Art of Directing: Mira Nair

(Sat 7th Oct 7am, 2pm & Sun 8th Oct 8pm)

In this programme we meet award-winning film maker Mira Nair in her home in Uganda where she opens up about her origins in political theatre and documentary film making. Nair takes us behind the scenes at her film school Maisha Film Laboratory and discusses what it took to challenge the Western dominance of the film industry.

The Art of Directing: Paolo Sorrentino

(Sat 21st Oct 7am, 2pm & Sun 22nd Oct 8pm)

Award-winning Italian director Paolo Sorrentino achieved global recognition with The Great Beauty (2013), which was garlanded with the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.  Speaking from his home in Tuscany,  Sorrentino tells how he grew up wanting to be a rock star, started his film career as a screenwriter, and went on to direct some of the most powerful films to come out of Italy in the last two decades.

The Art of Directing: Sally Potter

(Sat 4th Nov 8am, 2 pm & Sun 5th Nov 8 pm)

British film-maker Sally Potter’s experimental, genre-defying work includes her Oscar-nominated adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando (1992), which helped kick-start the career of Tilda Swinton.  We join Potter in her London writing studio to find out how she goes about crafting her ground-breaking scripts.

The Art of Directing: Xavier Dolan

(Sat 18th Nov 8am, 2 pm & Sun 19th Nov 8 pm)

In the fifth episode Canadian director Xavier Dolan takes us back to his hometown of Montreal to show where it all began for him and gives us a sneak peek at his upcoming film, The Life and Death of John F. Donovan.

The Art of Directing: Mike Leigh

(Sat 2nd Dec 8am, 2 pm & Sun 3rd Dec 8 pm)

The final episode of ‘The Art of Directing’ focusses on the great British film-maker Mike Leigh. Seven times an Oscar nominee, Leigh talks about how he evolved his unique way of working and the subjects that fascinate him, and we see him at work on location with his biggest project yet, Peterloo, directing an immense cast to recreate the events around the infamous Peterloo Massacre which took place in Northern England in 1819.

Front Row on BBC World News (first weekend of each month from 7th October)

Episode One: Sat 7th Oct 10am, 11pm & Sun 8th Oct 11am, 4 pm

Episode Two: Sat 4th Nov 11 pm & Sun 5th Nov 10 am, 4 pm

October 2017 will see one of the jewels in the BBC Arts crown becomes a bold new multi-platform brand. Front Row comes to TV with a monthly broadcast on BBC World News alongside an enhanced digital presence. Developed as a studio magazine show, it will share the range and spirit of its Radio 4 forebear, covering the broad landscape of the arts bringing viewers a rich mix of big name interviews, reviews, reports and discussions, all imbued with Front Row’s wit and superior arts journalism.  International star names featured in the first series include Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Kate Winslet, Steve McQueen, Armistead Maupin, Michael Fassbender, Stephen Fry, Philip Pullman and Sparks. With A-List interviews at its heart and compelling and lively authored polemic and studio debate, Front Row will be entertaining, contemporary, accessible and curious.

BBC Culture (www.bbc.com/culture)

BBC Culture is part of the BBC’s international website BBC.com. It is the go to place for insightful content on arts and culture around the world. A fusion of videos and images coupled with editorial content from a host of well-known and respected journalists and commentators, the site offers an alternative lens on global trends across the arts.

Talking Movies – film festivals

In October, Tom Brook presents a special edition of Talking Movies from the New York Film Festival – a vibrant showcase for top films in the prestigious movie season that’s now underway. Among the highlights, Lady Bird, a coming-of-age tale and Oscar hopeful, starring Saoirse Ronan, written and directed by Greta Gerwig. The festival will close with Wonder Wheel, the latest film from veteran New York filmmaker Woody Allen starring Kate Winslet and Justin Timberlake (October 28th tbc).

Then for November’s edition the programme travels to India. Tom samples the latest developments in Indian cinema through interviews with top Bollywood stars and a visit to the country’s leading film festival, the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), in Goa. The festival honours filmmakers from around the world as well as showing some of the very best of India’s cutting-edge independent cinema (November 25th tbc).

Through The Lens (http://www.bbc.com/culture/columns/through-the-lens)

Running on BBC.com/culture (from 15th September) and BBC World News  (from 2nd October), this series of 12 short documentary style films focuses on iconic images from the 21st Century with commentary  by the famous photographers that took them. Each episode will focus on a different image and photographer, with a mixture of filmed interviews and stills showcasing these famous moments in history.

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