BFI Southbank at Night

Dennis Potter is to be celebrated by the BFI with a season entitled ‘The Complete Dennis Potter’.

Potter is generally acknowledged as Britain’s greatest and most innovative TV writer, who produced a body of work specifically for television that redefined the TV drama, daring to challenge both commissioners’ and viewers’ perceptions of the format.

Ken Trodd, who was Potter’s producer for most of his career – and who is assisting the BFI on the season recalls:

“What Dennis left is an enormous, daunting, inviting and revealing feast of brilliance. I’m still astonished by the freshness and originality of it all. Tune in, watch, and feel yourself grow!”

This June BFI Southbank is to launch the definitive guide to Dennis Potter when, for the first time ever, the film institute begin to screen the entire surviving canon of his work, from the 6th of June. The event coincides with the 20th anniversary of his death. The catalogue of work is so vast that it will be screened in four parts, over two years, each focusing on a pertinent theme.

The themes include Politics and Betrayal, in June, followed by The Outsider Inside, in July, then Faith and Redemption and Sex & Death in June and July next year. There will also be a number of events and introductions when those who worked closely with Potter will offer their insight. Beginning with Dennis Potter in Edinburgh + Panel Discussion on The Politics of Potter on Thursday 12th June.

The events sees the BFI bring together producer Ken Trodd, Peter Flannery and Trevor Griffiths, amongst others, to discuss the seminal MacTaggart Lecture titled ‘Occupying Powers’, that saw the writer vocalise damning views on Thatcher, Broadcasters and the Murdoch Empire.

On Thursday 26th June playwright Mark Ravenhill will offer his own personal response to Potter following the screening of documentary Close Up: Dennis Potter: Under the Skin. Which was produced by, and aired on, the BBC in 1998. The screening of Dreamchild (1986) on the 9th of July will be followed by a question and answer featuring director Gavin Millar and Jane Asher while the use of music in Potter’s work will be addressed in Echo of a Song on July 19th. That event will be attended by director Piers Haggard, producer Ken Trodd, John Wyver and actors Cheryl Campbell and Kenneth Colley.

More details can be found including a full schedule listing at the BFI website.

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