Billy Elliot is a 2000 British coming-of-age comedy–drama film directed by Stephen Daldry and written by Lee Hall. Set in County Durham in North East England during the 1984–1985 miners’ strike, the film is about a working-class boy who discovers a passion for ballet. His father objects, based on negative stereotypes of male ballet dancers. The film stars Jamie Bell as 11-year-old Billy, Gary Lewis as his father, Jamie Draven as Billy’s older brother, and Julie Walters as his ballet teacher.
Adapted from a play called Dancer by Lee Hall, development on the film began in 1999. Around 2,000 boys were considered for the role of Billy before Bell was chosen for the role. Filming began in the North of England in August 1999. Greg Brenman and Jon Finn served as producers, while Stephen Warbeck composed the film’s score. Billy Elliot is a co-production among BBC Films, Tiger Aspect Pictures and Working Title Films.
The film premiered at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival, and began a wider theatrical release on 29 September 2000 by Universal Pictures. Billy Elliot received positive critical response and commercial success, earning $109.3 million worldwide on a $5 million budget. At the 54th British Academy Film Awards, the film won three of thirteen award nominations. Jamie Bell became the youngest winner of Best Actor in a Leading Role. The film also earned three Academy Award nominations, including for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
In 2001, the film was adapted as a novel by Melvin Burgess. The story was also adapted for the West End stage as Billy Elliot the Musical, first produced in 2005. It opened in Australia in 2007 and on Broadway in New York City in 2008.