The UK’s third longest-running film festival returns this autumn for its 37th edition. The Cambridge Film Festival will take place October 19 to 26 at the Arts Picturehouse Cinema and other venues across the city.
The Cambridge Film Festival is operated by the charitable Cambridge Film Trust and backed by the BFI’s Film Festival Fund, which awards National Lottery funding to UK film festivals, giving audiences the opportunity to see a broad range of British and international films.
One of the UK’s most prestigious and well-respected film festivals, the 2017 edition will present a typically diverse, top quality film programme that offers something for everyone; from UK premieres of must-see anticipated features, to classic retrospectives, insightful documentaries, discovery titles from the global stage, family favourites, and late night boundary-pushing cult movies.
After 40 years of presenting the very best films from around the world, new partnerships with India Unboxed and the Korean Cultural Centre will add to the Festival’s diverse programme, further establishing Cambridge Film Festival’s reputation as a champion of high quality, world cinema.
Inaugurated in 1977, the first Cambridge Film Festival set the pattern for innovation, diversity and the emphasis on world cinema, with screenings of Kurosawa’s Dodeska-Den, Visconti’s Conversation Piece and Rosi’s Illustrious Corpses. Originally based at the much loved single-screen Arts Cinema in Cambridge city centre’s Market Passage, the Cambridge Film Festival quickly developed from modest beginnings to become an important date in the international film festival calendar which would draw broad audiences from across the region and beyond. The festival was originally conceived with a two-fold purpose: as a means of screening the very best of current international cinema; and to rediscover important but neglected filmmakers and their films, which were either out of distribution or unseen for many years.
Returning by popular demand is Camera Catalonia. Now in its sixth season, Camera Catalonia is a strand dedicated to contemporary Catalan cinema, which profiles the varied and creative output arising from one of Europe’s oldest cultures. Highlights include: The One-Eyed King, a dark comedy from writer-director Marc Crehuet; and the Spanish Civil War epic Uncertain Glory based the novel of the same name, considered by many to be one of the best Catalan novels of all time.
A continued partnership with the Cambridge African Film Festival will put African cinema centre stage, with five of the best African films from the last year, including award-winning coming-of-age feature The Wound, directed by John Trengove.
This year’s Microcinema programme is organised around the theme of ‘Archive and Memory’ and will encompass both contemporary and historical work. Highlights include a newly commissioned film by the 2016 winner of the Margaret Tait award, Kate Davis, entitled Charity, alongside a rare screening of Tait’s seminal work On The Mountain, and a newly restored piece by the avant-garde filmmaker Margaret Raspé Blue On White Edges and Frames. Works by Cordelia Swann, Sarah Wood, Gair Dunlop, Sam Ashby and Dick Jewell complete the programme. All Microcinema sessions will be free of charge and feature an introduction and artist Q&A with James Mackay, programme curator.
The ever-popular Archive Strand will feature new restorations from major European and US archives, including classics of the sound era and silent re-discoveries with live music by Festival regulars Neil Brand, Stephen Horne and John Sweeney. Highlights will include a new restoration of The Wages Of Fear, Henri-Georges Clouzot’s nerve-racking suspense thriller, and rare German silent The Woman Men Yearn For, with Marlene Dietrich in her first great starring role.
In addition, for the first time, there will be a specially curated Virtual Reality Strand providing a glimpse of where new technology will take us in the future.
The Cambridge Family Film Festival also returns with a bumper programme of much-loved film and television characters old and new, presented in a family-friendly environment. For the young viewers there is Kate In Oz, a special Wizard of Oz inspired episode from CBeebie’s Kate and Mim Mim. There’ll be the new series of Peppa Pig, and Michael Rosen’s classic children’s story We’re Going On A Bear Hunt in a short animated film.
Did you know MOANA is Disney’s 56th animated feature film? There will be a screening of the sing-a-long version, as well as Disney’s very first animated feature – SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS which celebrates its 80th birthday this year.
Older children are catered for as well with a great selection of features and shorts from around the world including: the spellbinding documentary THE EAGLE HUNTRESS; Studio Ghibli’s THE RED TURTLE; Indian film I AM KALAM; Hong Kong short film THE INFAMOUS CHALK GIRL; and the magical, timeless French short RED BALLOON.
The full film programme including Opening and Closing night galas, main features, and themed festival strands, along with details of UK Premieres, visiting filmmakers, and special events will be announced in late September with tickets going on sale in early October.
Says Cambridge Film Festival director Tony Jones, “It’s a celebration of film – past present and future. So, it’s a chance to relive and enjoy past glories, but also to see what’s happening in film right now, and reveal new talents who will shape the future of cinema. A good example of that is a chap who had his student short selected for the programme here back in 1996, named Christopher Nolan. Apparently he’s done quite well since!
“Of course it’s also a chance to see films from around the world, from other countries and cultures, many of which we might not otherwise come into contact with. And it’s all brought to our doorstep. It brings the people who make the films here, too, of course, so it’s a chance to meet and put your questions to actors, writers and directors. What makes Cambridge different from other Festivals is that it attracts big names but is nonetheless intimate and approachable. There are no red carpets, no banks of flashbulbs going off, and the chances are the acclaimed director of the much anticipated new film you’re about to see is happily hanging out in the bar, just like you! Our audiences like that – the filmmakers actually love it, too.”