Ethel and Ernest are going to Seattle

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Ethel and Ernest has been selected for the Seattle International Film Festival (May 18th to June 11th).


SIFF is the largest film festival in the United States, and will be presentimg more than 450 films from 90 countries. Feature films, documentaries and short films are shown to an audience of over 150,000 each year. Now in its 43rd year SIFF is consistently ranked as one of the top festivals in North America.
Ethel & Ernest will have two screenings in the Contemporary World Cinema section of the festival. They will be on Friday May 19th at 13:30 in the Pacific Place Cinemas
and on Sunday May 21st at 12:00 PM in the SIFF Cinema Uptown Theater.
Seattle International Film Festival

Ethel and Ernest selected for Annecy International Animated Film Festival

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‘Ethel and Ernest’ is heading to France and the world’s premier animated film festival. The film has been selected for this year’s Annecy International Animated Film Festival (12th to 17th June) and will be shown in competition with nine other films in the Animated Feature Film category.

Annecy Official Selection

The festival received a record 2,850 films (short and feature films, TV and commissioned films and graduation films), and from those more than 200 films have been shortlisted to take part in the official selections.

The Annecy festival is held in a stunning location surrounded by the French Alps. It was a favourite haunt of the late producer John Coates, who got the ball rolling on Ethel and Ernest back in 2007. At that year’s festival John celebrated 50 years at the helm of the TVC animation studio by throwing a memorable party for colleagues and friends at a hotel in Talloires, on the shore of Lake Annecy.  The TVC studio made the film adaptations of Raymond Briggs’ books ‘The Snowman’, ‘Father Christmas’, ‘The Bear’ and ‘When the Wind Blows’. For more on John please see .

John Coates and Anne V Coates_Annecy 2007

John Coates with his sister, Academy Award winning film editor Anne V Coates, at the Annecy International Film Festival in 2007. ( photo:Loraine Marshall )

Annecy 2017 line-up:


  • In This Corner of the World, Sunao Katabuchi (Japan)
  • Ethel and Ernest, Roger Mainwood (UK)
  • Big Fish & Begonia, Xuan Liang, Chun Zhang (China)
  • Have a Nice Day, Jian Liu (China)
  • Loving Vincent, Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman (Poland, UK)
  • A Silent Voice, Naoko Yamada (Japan)
  • Lu Over the Wall, Masaaki Yuasa (Japan)
  • Zombillenium, Arthur de Pins, Alexis Ducord (Belgium, France)
  • Animal Crackers, Tony Bancroft, Scott Christian Sava, Jaime Maestro (US)
  • Tehran Taboo, Ali Soozandeh (Germany)

Ethel and Ernest in Azerbaijan

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The next stop on Ethel and Ernest’s world tour is in Azerbaijan’s capital city, Baku.

Nizami Cinema Centre_Baku

Ethel and Ernest will be shown at the Nizami Cinema Centre in Baku as part of the British Film Spring festival organised by The British Council.

The Third British Film Spring – organised in cooperation with the British Embassy Azerbaijan and Nizami Cinema Centre – will bring the best and brightest new UK films to an Azerbaijan audience between 28 April and 4 May 2017

The film will be shown with Russian subtitles.

Ethel and Ernest win at Cartoons on the Bay, Turin.

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The winners of the Cartoons on the Bay animated film festival 2017 have been announced. This is the first year that animated feature films have been in competition.

Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 09.40.29.png

The Italian/French co-production  Iqbal: bambini senza paura won the category.

Ethel and Ernest won Best Animation and Best Score in the category.

The Japanese film Your Name won Best Screenplay.

More festival appearances for Ethel and Ernest

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Ethel and Ernest will be featured in these upcoming festivals:

Cartoons on the Bay, Turin, Italy. 6 th – 8 th April 2017. Ethel and Ernest is in the category for Best Animated Feature Film 2017.

The Minneapolis St Paul International Film Festival: April 13 – 29Ethel & Ernest  page is here . MSPIFF is Minnesota’s largest film event and one of the longest running film festivals in the country. Each year, the festival presents more than 350 bold, exciting, and moving works from new and veteran filmmakers from around the globe.

Trebon, Czech Republic: 2nd to 7th May 2017. “Ethel and Ernest” will be screened in the official competition of the International Festival of Animated Films ANIFILM.

Stuttgart Festival of Animated Films: 2nd to 7th May 2017.

Ethel and Ernest award at the Meknès International Animated Film Festival

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Ethel and Ernest has won the best feature film prize at the International Animated Film Festival held at Meknès in Morocco.

Co-producer of the film, Stéphan Roelants from Melusine productions in Luxembourg, was at the festival to accept the award.

Stephan Roelants at the Meknes animation festival_2017

Producer Stéphan Roelants at the Meknès International Animated Film Festival, March 2017

There were five feature films in the category. The other four films in competition were Bill Plympton’s Revengeance (2016)The Red Turtle (2016), Window Horses (2016) by Canadian Ann Marie Fleming, and African Tales by Djilali Beskri.

Le jury de cette manifestation, organisée en partenariat avec la Fondation Aïcha, a décerné le prix du meilleur long-métrage au réalisateur anglais Roger Mainwood pour son film “Ethel et Ernest”.

US critics react to the Ethel and Ernest screenings in Chicago

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A look at some of the highlights screening during the third week of Chicago’s European Union Film Festival, by Peter Sobczynski

Ethel and Ernest-image 02
Now celebrating its 20th year, Chicago’s Gene Siskel Film Center once again presents the European Union Film Festival, a month-long program designed to highlight the newest films coming out of the EU member nations by offering a canny mix of highly anticipated titles and lesser-known films that may never again be seen in these parts. Running March 3-30, this year’s iteration offers up 62 titles from all 28 EU nations .

ETHEL & ERNEST (March 17, 18): At the beginning of this adaptation of his 1998 graphic novel of the same name, beloved British author/illustrator Raymond Briggs remarks that ”There was nothing extraordinary about my parents.” The same cannot be said about this lovely adaptation, done entirely through hand-drawn illustration, that begins as his parents, unassuming milkman Ernest (Jim Broadbent) and maid Ethel (Brenda Blethyn) meet in 1928 and follows them over the years as they marry, have a child and observe events ranging from World War II and the political and social upheaval of post-war England to the advent of television and the horror of learning that their son wants to go to art school. Although it is animated (and beautifully at that), this is not a film for little kids, mostly because the subject matter might make them restless. For everyone else, however, this is a wonderful work that is funny, touching, gorgeous to look at and features two of the very best voice performances in an animated film in a long, long time in the contributions from Broadbent and Blethyn.

Chicago edition of Time Out magazine

Based on a graphic novel by Raymond Briggs (best known for penning the animated holiday favorite The Snowman), Roger Mainwood’s Ethel & Ernest is a deceptively simple but deeply moving account of the lives of an ordinary married couple living in London from the late 1920s through the early 1970s. The title characters in Briggs’ book were explicitly based on his own parents and the way the film’s elliptical narrative quietly moves from one relatively uneventful vignette to another over the span of half a century has all the intimacy and emotion of flipping through a cherished family photo album. More than one critic has compared the film to the opening marriage montage of Pixar’s Up if that sequence had been sustained for the running time of an entire feature. The voice work of Jim Broadbent and Brenda Blethyn as the central couple is magnificent and cinephiles will especially appreciate that their first date involves taking in a screening of John Ford’s Hangman’s House.

Third Coast Review, Chicago Arts and Culture. By Julian Ramirez.

Ethel and Ernest (UK)

There is something about the straightforward and sincere animated film Ethel and Ernest that speaks volumes about life. The film centers on the parents of Raymond Briggs, the illustrator and author of the graphic novel on which the film is based. The film focuses on little snapshot moments of the couple’s relationship from the moment they meet to the end of their lives. There is no central conflict or a concentrated story-line to follow. Instead the film tries and succeeds in displaying the beauty of this family in mid-20th century UK. You get to see these infinitely beautiful moments in their relationship, both in and out of context, that build on each other wonderfully. Every moment is dealt with honestly and the simple and understated hand-drawn animation breathes life into that honesty, much as Briggs’ original illustrations. Take for instance Briggs’ part in the whole film. He appears at the beginning of the film, introducing the story on which he clearly left an immense mark as Ernest and Ethel’s child, but he barely appears in the story. When he does, Briggs and his family’s interactions are portrayed with all the childhood innocence, adolescent angst, and eventual bittersweet truth that inhabits all of our lives. Ethel and Ernest is a moving film worth your attention. The film is as much a tribute as it is a love letter to Briggs’ parents, honoring them with all the grace and beauty that their lives deserved.

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