This year’s Richmond International Film Festival featured Ella Purnell’s new film Wildlike on the homepage and it was declared Best Feature Film of the festival. The film follows a troubled teen girl, Mackenzie (Ella Purnell), who was sent to live with her inappropriate uncle (Brian Geraghty) by her unstable mother. Rene Bartlett (Greenwood) is a hiker wanting nothing more than to be alone; however, an unlikely friendship bonds the girl and the hiker as they both explore Alaska’s beautiful terrain. While traveling together, their friendship helps them heal their past. The film is a multi award-winner, having also garnered six Best Narrative awards and two awards for Best Director.
Justin Lowe from The Hollywood Reporter stated, “By turns both tough and vulnerable, [Purnell] conveys Mackenzie’s inner turmoil and frequent desperation with both empathy and economy, skirting the ever-present pitfalls of over-emoting.” It’s no surprise that Purnell is a rising star in the movie business.
Ella Purnell has played minor roles in other major films and they have garnered several awards and nominations, including the recent Maleficent, where she played the evil queen from Sleeping Beauty as a teenager. The movie won Best Original Score for a Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror Film at the International Film Music Critics Award (IFMCA). Maleficent was also nominated for Best Achievement in Costume Design at the Academy Awards and Best Feature Film at BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts). In Ways To Live Forever, distributed by World Wide Motion Pictures, a film about a young boy named Sam who is discovering and searching for information about his battle with leukemia. Kayleigh (Purnell), Sam’s love interest, helps him complete items on his bucket list off and find the answers he looks for. The film won Best Picture at the Toledo Film Festival and Audience Award at the Heartland Film Festival. If these awards and nominations continue for Purnell, it will undoubtedly help her film career and we’ll likely see her more on the big screen.