Billy Elliot is a 2000 British drama film written by Lee Hall and directed by Stephen Daldry. Set in north-eastern England during the 1984-85 coal miners' strike, it stars Jamie Bell as 11-year-old Billy, an aspiring dancer dealing with the negative stereotype of the male ballet dancer, Gary Lewis as his coal miner father, Jamie Draven as Billy's older brother, and Julie Walters as his ballet teacher.
In 2001, author Melvin Burgess was commissioned to write the novelisation of the film based on Lee Hall's screenplay. The story was adapted for the West End stage as Billy Elliot the Musical in 2005; it opened in Australia in 2007 and on Broadway in 2008.
Billy's father sends him to the gym to learn boxing, but Billy dislikes the sport. He happens upon a ballet class that is using the gym while their usual basement studio is temporarily being used as a soup kitchen for the striking miners. Unknown to Jackie, Billy joins the ballet class. When Jackie discovers this, he forbids Billy to take any more ballet. But, passionate about dancing, Billy secretly continues lessons with his dance teacher Sandra Wilkinson's help.
Mrs. Wilkinson believes Billy is talented enough to study at the Royal Ballet School in London, but due to Tony's arrest during a skirmish between police and striking miners, Billy misses the audition. Mrs. Wilkinson tells Jackie about the missed opportunity, but fearing that Billy will be considered to be gay, both Jackie and Tony are outraged at the prospect of Billy becoming a professional ballet dancer.
Over Christmas, Billy learns his best friend, Michael, is gay. Although Billy is not, he is supportive of his friend. Later, Jackie catches Billy dancing in the gym and realises his son is truly gifted; he will do whatever it takes to help Billy attain his dream. Mrs. Wilkinson tries to convince Jackie to let her pay for the audition, but he replies that Billy is his son. Jackie attempts to cross the picket line to pay for the trip to London, but Tony blocks him. Instead, his fellow miners and the neighbourhood raise some money and Jackie pawns Billy's mother's jewellery to cover the cost and Jackie takes him to London to audition for the Royal Ballet School. Though highly nervous, Billy performs well, but he punches another boy in his frustration at the audition and the fear that he has ruined his chance of attaining his dream. He is sternly rebuked by the review board but when asked what it feels like when he is dancing, he describes it is like electricity. Seemingly rejected, Billy returns home with his father. Sometime later, he receives a letter accepting him to the Royal Ballet School, and he leaves home to attend.
The film's final scene is set fourteen years later (approximately 1999): the mature Billy takes the stage to perform the lead in Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, as Jackie, Tony, and Michael watch in the audience.
Scenes inside the Elliot home and local street shots were filmed in Easington Colliery, County Durham, a former mining village. "Billy Elliot", BBC Tyne feature, 17 October 2006 The producers used over 400 Easington people as extras. Alnwick Street, on which the Elliot family lived at number 5, was one of several streets demolished in 2003 after becoming derelict. COLLIERY&town=PETERLEE&street=ALNWICK STREET&year=All&house_style=All&house_age=All&house_type=All&search_radius=&northingToSearch=&eastingToSearch=&cCode=EW&outcode=SR8&incode=3PU&order=&start_limit=&curPage=&price_min=&price_max= Alnwick Street, Nethouseprices.com A green space now stands in its place. The faded-white brick wall of Wright's Prize Bingo, on Ashton Street, is still visible. The scene in which Billy steals a ballet book from the mobile library van was filmed at the rear of the Anthony Street terraces, looking down the hill to Ashton Street. Almost all of the scenes set in Everington are set at the top of the sizable slope that is visible in the street views, near the allotments that still remain today; the exception being when Billy leaves for London, when he and his family cross Ashton Street en route to Seaside Lane.
While the Miners' Welfare Hall is in nearby Dawdon, the youth centre where Billy attends dance practices was filmed at Hanwell Community Centre in London.
The street up which Billy does his "angry dance" is Embleton Street in Dawdon. While made to seem like it is the same street, the corrugated iron wall at which he comes to a stop is at the end of the alley between Embleton Street and Stavordale Street West, with the corrugated iron wall he stops at being a temporary installment to hide Shrewsbury Street behind it.
The cemetery in which Jenny Elliot is buried is in Lynemouth. for someone to take care of cemetery; PLEA FOR LANDOWNERS TO...-a0181664854 "Dying for someone to take care of cemetery; PLEA FOR LANDOWNERS TO CLEAN UP OVERGROWN GRAVEYARD" – Evening Chronicle, 22 July 2008
School scenes were filmed in Langley Park Primary School, County Durham.
In 2004, the magazine Total Film named Billy Elliot the 39th greatest British film of all time.