The Queen – Q&A with Sir Stephen Frears, Andy Harries and Christine Langan

Meet some of the most powerful and successful people in the British Film & TV industries at the Chiswick In Film festival

This year’s Chiswick In Film festival is upon us. The opening event is this Friday, 29 September – a screening of The Queen followed by a Q&A with the director Sir Stephen Frears and two of the producers, Andy Harries and Christine Langan – collectively some of the most powerful and successful people in the British film and television industries.

We are delighted to have such extraordinary access to the creative team behind the film, for which Dame Helen Mirren won the Oscar for Best Actress. All three were themselves nominated for Academy Awards. The film received six nominations in total, including one for Best Picture.

The Queen portrays Queen Elizabeth II at one of the most vulnerable points of her reign, when it was felt the royal family had lost their way. When she died last year it was evident there was a huge amount of love and respect for Queen Elizabeth II personally as monarch, but The Queen deals with the period following Princess Diana’s death and how the royal family responded to it, when she was portrayed in the media as being cold and unfeeling and out of touch with her people for the lack of public emotional response during the first week after Diana’s death.

While the crowds surged around Buckingham Palace leaving mountains of flowers, Helen Mirren portrays a queen completely baffled by the tsunami of public grief and stuck in tradition and protocol, unable to grasp that this was something unprecedented that required a suitably public response.

The film shows how Tony Blair, newly elected with a landslide majority, put pressure on royal family to abandon plans for a private funeral and make it a big pubic event, to fly the royal standard at half mast over Buckingham Palace and to come down from their estate at Balmoral to meet and mingle with the public and pay tribute to the mother of the future king, even if she and Prince Charles had been acrimoniously divorced.

Images above: Andy Harries; Christine Langan; Sir Stephen Frears

Discuss the film with its creators

After the film screening at 7.30pm I’ll be talking to producers Andy Harries and Christine Langan and director Sir Stephen Frears and they will be taking questions from the audience.

Andy Harries as been producing film and television dramas for more than 40 years and as co-founder of Left Bank Pictures he is one of the UK’s biggest producers of film and television drama, with series such as Wallander, Outlander and The Crown to its name.

His outstanding contribution to broadcasting has been recognised with special awards from both BAFTA and Royal Television Society.

Christine Langan started her career as a drama producer at Granada, where she worked with Andy to produce a string of successes, including Cold Feet. She went on to run BBC films for seven years, where the many award-winning films her team produced included Made in Dagenham, Pride, Philomena and Far From The Madding Crowd.

On her watch BBC Films racked up the most BAFTA nominations they had ever received in a single year. She then spent nearly four years as CEO of Baby Cow Productions before setting up her own production company, Bonnie Productions, nearly three years ago.

Stephen Frears, who directed The Queen, has had two Academy Award nominations in his career, won three BAFTAs and an Emmy and received many more nominations. Earlier this year he received a knighthood for his contribution to the film and television industries. Among his best-known films are My Beautiful Laundrette, Dangerous Liasons and The Grifters and the television series, A Very English Scandal.

This is a unique opportunity to talk to them about this film specifically and about drama production in TV and film more generally.

Book tickets on the Chiswick Cinema website.

The Chiswick In Film Festival, which was started in 2022, is a celebration of Chiswick’s connections with the film industry – both as a location for sequences in many films and TV series and as a place where many people working in the industry call home. Andy Harries and his family are long term residents of Chiswick.

The film festival is a joint collaboration between The Chiswick Calendar and Chiswick Cinema, and Chiswick based film professionals Andrea Carnevali and Rob Sprackling.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar