As reported earlier, Damian is part of the 2022 Jury for UK’s Raindance Film Festival this year. The festival runs from October 26 – November 5, 2022 and organizers have announced on social media that Damian has accepted a posthumous Icon Award in tribute to Helen McCrory. Helen served on the Raindance Jury back in 2011. The Radio Times reports Damian said:
“I’m honoured to accept the posthumous Raindance Icon Award on Helen’s behalf. She’d be pleased as punch to be receiving it. There was no more fiercely independent spirit than Helen and in her attitude towards work. She loved her time on the Raindance jury and being able to view films made with that same liberated energy. Raindance and Helen – it’s a perfect match.”
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Damian Lewis With His Mona Lisa Smirk
by Stephanie Bunbury | Deadline | October 7, 2022
Nothing has quite the same screen allure as a secret world. Espionage is so secret, by definition, that we have to take even its existence as a matter of trust; all we know about what goes on behind the intelligence agencies’ closed doors is what is relayed to us through books, films and series like A Spy Among Friends, based on Ben Macintyre’s book about the British double agent Kim Philby. Presumably, a certain kind of person is drawn to that world where nothing can be let slip outside it. To work for both sides, one must constantly be aware of who said what to whom, who knows what, who saw you where, who remembers you there — that anyone should want that life is a mystery in itself.
A Spy Among Friends – two episodes of which are screening as part of the London Film Festival – reunites Alexander Cary, a writer and producer on the long-running espionage series Homeland, with actor Damian Lewis, who also steps up as an executive producer of the new series. Lewis is best known on both sides of the Atlantic as Homeland’s Nicholas Brody, the Marine Corps sniper imprisoned and possibly “turned” by Al-Qaeda. Here he enters another secret world, but in a very different guise: He plays Nicholas Elliott, an operative with foreign security agency SIS, who also is the closest friend of Philby (Guy Pearce).
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A Cerebral and Fiendish Remix of the Kim Philby Tale
by Jasper Rees | The Telegraph | October 7, 2022
Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce are magnificent in a satisfyingly complex drama which focuses on Philby’s escape to Beirut in 1963.
Nothing illustrated the length of the journey made by Kim Philby from West to East, from British mandarin to Soviet icon, than his funeral. The casket, in the Russian style, was open, enabling his widow to lean in for a final caress of that infamous poker face. (You can watch the footage for yourself in Adam Curtis’s compendious forthcoming BBC series about the death rattle of communism.)
In a sense the lid will never close over the coffin of England’s most notorious traitor. Like other enigmas – see also Albert Speer – the story of a third man with two paymasters and four wives can never be definitively told, the case never closed. Hunting for the real Philby among the false fronts and double lives is like wandering around a maze uncertain if you’re looking for the entrance or the exit. From every new angle glint more questions.
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World Premiere and Red Carpet
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | October 7, 2022
A Spy Among Friends starring Damian Lewis received its World Premiere at BFI London Film Festival Friday, October 7, 2022. Damian spoke with press for interviews and walked the red carpet before the screening. Episodes one and two of A Spy Among Friends premiered at 6:30 p.m. on screen one at Curzon Mayfair to a sold out crowd. The drama will consist of a total of six episodes. Not only is Damian in one of the lead roles, but he also served as a producer. A Spy Among Friends is set to air in November 2022 on the new streaming platform ITVX in the UK. US release pending.
In 1963, MI6 agent Kim Philby (Guy Pearce) was revealed to be a KGB spy in one of the most humiliating chapters of Britain’s involvement in the Cold War. This adaptation of Ben Macintyre’s best-selling book explores the impact of this notorious betrayal of the British establishment. It focuses specifically on what happened during the final meeting between Philby and his close friend and fellow MI6 agent Nicholas Elliott (Damian Lewis), in the days leading up to Philby’s defection.
Outstanding performances from Lewis, Pearce and Anna Maxwell Martin bring to life the layered and deeply intelligent script by showrunner Alexander Carey (who previously worked with Damian on Homeland). Part gripping spy thriller in the Le Carré mould, part incisive dissection of the British class and power structures still in place today, A Spy Among Friends is, above all, a moving portrait of friendship and betrayal.
The 66th annual festival took place in venues across the UK capital beginning Wednesday October 5 and will go through Sunday October 16, 2022. Video clips:
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Raindance Jury 2022
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | September 21, 2022
This year is the 30th anniversary of the Raindance Film Festival, UK’s leading indie film festival, and guess who is honored to be part of the 27-person Jury? Yours truly, Mr. Damian Lewis. You can watch the nominations and jury announcement from the Programme Launch here – Damian is mentioned beginning at the 38:08 mark. The festival runs from October 26 – November 5, 2022 in London cinemas and online throughout the UK. View the schedule here. Industry and the public attend cutting-edge panels, talks and workshops. Raindance showcases the boldest, freshest content from British and international filmmakers. Founded in 1992, the festival is dedicated to fostering and promoting independent film around the world, as well as offering film training courses and Raindance higher education. In addition, Raindance is a qualifying festival for Oscars, BAFTA and BIFA.
The festival gives awards across these categories: Best Music Video, Best Animated Short, Best Documentary Short, Best UK Short, Best Short of the Festival, Discovery Award, Best Documentary Feature, Best Performance, Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best UK Feature and Best International Feature.
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BFI London Film Festival 2022
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | August 31, 2022
A Spy Among Friends starring Damian Lewis will receive a World Premiere at BFI London Film Festival this October. The 66th annual festival will take place in venues across the UK capital on Wednesday October 5 through Sunday October 16, 2022 and will host 22 feature films, three episodic selections and several documentary cinema. Episodes one and two of A Spy Among Friends will premiere on Friday, October 7, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. at Curzon Mayfair, screen 1. The screening is sold out.
The miniseries explores MI6 agent Kim Philby’s defection to the Soviet Union and stars Guy Pearce and Damian Lewis, the latter reuniting with showrunner Alexander Cary following their previous collaboration on Homeland. Above all, it is a moving portrait of friendship and betrayal. Other UK debuts launching at the festival include Fridjof Ryder’s dark thriller Inland, starring Mark Rylance. Some key dates:
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by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | October 9, 2021
On October 7, 2021 Damian Lewis attended a viewing of the Icelandic spoof film titled Cop Secret, directed by Icelandic goalie Hannes Halldorsson while at the 65th BFI London Film Festival. Damian is pictured here with the film’s art director Gus Olafsson. The film is about a cop who is in denial about his sexuality and falls in love with his new partner, while investigating a string of bank break-ins.
View more photos of the event in our Gallery here.