In 2014 I planned a touring programme of international film adaptations for Shakespeare’s 500th anniversary. Films  included a Bollywood Othello, Chinese martial arts Hamlet, Madagascan Macbeth, an Italian spaghetti western, samurai King Lear, Romeo & Juliet expoitation flick and a Hollywood teen comedy Taming of the Shrew. Alas, after quite some development work, we discovered a similar project was being hatched by the BFI, Film London and British Council, so it seemed sensible to stop. The rest of this page describes what might have been.


We planned to create a package of innovative, entertaining and truly international movies that showcase the global impact of Shakespeare’s work. Film exhibitors and educational institutes will be able to order tailored packages online that include:

  • films on BluRay, DCP and DVD
  • screening licences
  • programme notes and educational materials
  • high-resolution images and film summaries for marketing use
  • promotion through a national PR & marketing campaign that includes media coverage, print & online advertising and strategic social media marketing.

Omkara (India 2006) – Bollywood adaptation of Othello

Johnny Hamlet (Italy 1968) – spaghetti western adaptation of Hamlet

Ran (Japan 1985) – Kurosawa’s adaptation of King Lear

El Sueno de una Noche de San Juan (Portugal/Spain 2005) – adaptation of Midsummer Night’s Dream

In Iredu (Nigeria 2009) – short film depicting Macbeth’s meeting with the 3 witches

10 Things I Hate About You (USA 1999) – Hollywood teen adaptation of Taming of the Shrew

Hamlet Goes Business (Finland 1987) – maudlin comedy

A Midsummer Night’s Rave (USA 2002)

The Banquet (China 2006) – martial arts adaptation of Hamlet

All Night Long (UK 1962) – Othello in a jazz club

The Maori Merchant of Venice (New Zealand 2002)

Hamlet (Russia 1964)

Tromeo + Juliet (USA 1996) – trash exploitation comedy

Makibefo (Madagascar/UK 2000) – adaptation of Macbeth

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