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Chester Hayes as Billy in Kes Reimagined by Jonathan Watkins, Photo credit Marv Martin

Kes Reimagined hits cinema screens

Based on the novel ‘A Kestrel for a Knave’ by Barry Hines, Kes Reimagined is a new film by award-winning choreographer Jonathan Watkins and International Emmy award-winning director Ross MacGibbon.

Award-winning choreographer Jonathan Watkins conceived and created Kes Reimagined - a dance, music and puppetry adaptation of Barry Hines’ seminal novel A Kestrel for a Knave for Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre in 2014.  It's been re-imagined for the screen with International Emmy Award winner Director Ross MacGibbon to bring this modern classic to audiences in a new way.

Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Ken Loach’s film Kes, also adapted from Hines’ novel, Kes Reimagined, co-produced by The Space, and Kestrel Dance Film Production Ltd, premieres at Leeds International Film Festival (7 November), followed by screenings at Showroom Cinema, Sheffield (8 November), Square Chapel Arts Centre, Halifax (9 November) and Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle upon Tyne (10 November) before receiving a BBC transmission during the coming months.

With its themes still relevant today - family relationships, education, opportunities, weaknesses and hidden strengths – Kes is the story of boy and bird, set in a Yorkshire mining community and takes audiences on a journey with Billy Casper and his dysfunctional family.

Watkins, like Hines, grew up in Barnsley and the novel and subsequent film has been a big part of the choreographer’s life:

“The film takes this familiar northern story and reimagines it through dance to uncover the poetic journey between boy and bird, isolation and freedom, disconnect and passion. Being from Barnsley, the book by Barry Hines and subsequently Ken Loach’s film feel like they are almost part of my DNA. I grew up with family and friends quoting from them. When considering the stories I want to tell through dance on film this has always been the frontrunner, and through music, puppetry, video and movement hope to uncover a new way of seeing this iconic narrative.”

Fiona Morris, CEO and Creative Director of The Space, said:

“As the 50th anniversary of Kes the film approaches, The Space is delighted to be able to bring Jonathan’s re-telling of the story to a new audience. The themes contained within Kes Reimagined still resonate today and the capture of this production continues the organisation’s desire to work with the cultural sector to present a wide range of arts content to the broadest possible audience.”

Kes Reimagined Cinema Listings

Thursday 7 November at 6.30pm
Leeds International Film Festival, LEEDS
Venue: Albert Room, Leeds Town Hall
Post-screening Q&A with choreographer Jonathan Watkins and composer Alex Baranowski
Tickets available via from Thursday 10 October

Friday 8 November at 8pm
Showroom Cinema, SHEFFIELD

Saturday 9 November at 5.15pm
Square Chapel Arts Centre, HALIFAX

Sunday 10 November at 5.30pm