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Dunkirk: Screening On The Beach

Special event on the beaches of Camber Sands 20th & 21st September.

Step into wartime Britain with music, dancing, food and re-enactments on the beaches of Camber Sands at STUDIOCANAL’s special DUNKIRK event – a new restoration of Leslie Norman’s classic wartime epic, in association with The Luna Cinema and Vintage By Hemingway, as part of the BRITAIN ON FILM collection: COAST AND SEA – on Wednesday 20th September and Thursday 21st September.

Announcing further details of the event’s 1940s theme, designer Wayne Hemingway MBE says “We are really excited to be bringing some of our favourite Vintage performers along to what promises to be an unforgettable couple of evenings on the South Coast. Join us as we attempt to recreate some of that famous Dunkirk spirit, culminating with a truly unique screening experience on the beaches of Camber Sands.”

Guests arriving at 5.30pm will be treated to entertainment from walkabout entertainment personality Viv The Spiv, who says “I’ve always got a good supply of merchandise for sale, it’s not nicked, it’s just not paid for yet”, and Swing Shift DJ playing ’30s and ’40s tunes, with the chance to learn some 1940s novelty dances from Mark & Hoc Ewing, such as “The Lambeth Walk” and “The Chestnut Tree”.

On Wednesday 20th, ahead of the main screening, Oscar-winning actress Hayley Mills will introduce a short compilation of footage that her father John Mills, star of DUNKIRK, shot on location at Camber Sands and Rye during the 1957 production. This will be followed by, on both evenings, Screen Archive South East’s film Just Before The War, a short specially created for this event that comprises two films that will connect viewers with the seaside area and the lives of its inhabitants in 1939.

Hayley Mills: “I remember as a small child coming to Camber sands with my brother Jonathan to watch our father shoot the movie ‘Dunkirk’. There appeared to be hundreds of soldiers on the beach, it was grey and cold, and it was shot in black and white. I’m very excited to see the film after so many years, and even though there was no such thing as CGI in those days, I’m sure it remains tremendously stirring and full of emotional impact.”

Mingling with the guests will be re-enactors in vintage dress, many of whom are bringing authentic vehicles from the period, including a Bedford WS 1934 truck, a Morris 12/4 1940, a 1936 Triumph Gloria, a 1934 MG PA and a Bedford MWD Aeroscreen 1939 – the kind of vehicle that the BEF would have been forced to leave behind on the beaches of DUNKIRK in 1940.

Food and drink will be provided by What the Dickens!, The Bubble Bros’ Bubble Bike, Spitfire Heritage Gin and brewery Harveys, who will be bringing beer on their Harvey’s Horse and Dray.  Tea, coffee, cake & soft drinks will be served from a NAAFI canteen – one of the very few remaining authentic examples in the country!

“The chaps at Spitfire Heritage Gin are proud to be serving the best gin and tonics in Blighty, at the beach screening of Dunkirk. One of the best films ever made shared with one of the best gins ever made. In the spirit of the Spitfire created to be the best” – Spitfire Heritage Gin.

This event has been made possible as part of a special programme of screenings and events taking place at coastal locations around the UK, staged supported by the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN), organisations with funds from the National Lottery, and lead by Film Hub Central East (Broadway Cinema Nottingham) to launch BFI’s Britain on Film Coast and Sea collection.

Directed by Leslie Norman (The Long, The Short And The Tall), starring John Mills (Ice Cold In Alex, Goodbye Mr Chips, Great Expectations) Richard Attenborough (Brighton Rock, The Great Escape) and a cast featuring genuine army officers, DUNKIRK is one of the most authentic representations of conflict during World War II.

DUNKIRK follows the dramatic events leading up to Operation Dynamo, where upon the British Army attempted to rescue fellow soldiers and allied troops from Nazi occupied France. Seen from the dual perspectives of a jaded journalist in search of propaganda and a weary soldier desperately trying to give his troop some hope, Dunkirk never shies away from the brutality of war and the bravery of its soldiers.

The new restoration of DUNKIRK is released on DVD, Blu-ray and EST with brand new extras on 25th September 2017 from STUDIOCANAL as part of their Vintage Classics Collection – showcasing iconic British films, all fully restored and featuring brand new extra content:

For more information and to book tickets please visit:

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

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