Ali & Ava
Adeel Akhtar, Claire Rushbrook, Ellora Torchia
New from BAFTA-nominated director Clio Barnard (The Arbor, The Selfish Giant, Dark River) is Ali & Ava. Produced by Barnard’s long-time collaborator Tracy O’Riordan, it’s a tender, intelligent, Bradford-set romance that combines elements of melodrama and social realism to sweet and striking effect.
Boisterous landlord Ali (Adeel Akhtar) and pragmatic teaching assistant Ava (Claire Rushbrook) meet through a chance encounter. Over the course of one month, sparks fly and a connection begins to grow. But their newfound passion is threatened by the legacy of Ava’s past relationship and by Ali’s emotional turmoil following the breakdown of his marriage.
Beautifully written, funny and warm, Ali & Ava is a keenly observed portrait of 21st century British society that deftly explores issues of neurodiversity, race, class and mental health as they come up in one Yorkshire couple’s world. Optimistic and empathetic, navigating moments of fear and courage, loneliness and belonging, it’s a superbly compelling contemporary love story and another triumph for Barnard.