Today: April 12, 2024

Festival Season

Autumn is the season of the Film Festival, and with international offerings from Venice, Toronto and Spain, as well as the 55th annual London International Film Festival, there’s plenty to get cinema fans excited.

Autumn is the season
of the Film Festival, and with international offerings from Venice, Toronto and
Spain, as well as the 55th annual London International Film
Festival, there’s plenty to get cinema fans excited. But with the bright lights
of the mainstream festivals it can be difficult for film followers outside the
capital to enjoy the glamour and global offerings of the film industry. If you
are further afield however don’t fret, there are plenty of showcases coming up
over the last few months of 2011 to quench your movie thirst.

From up north to deepest Cornwall, there are throngs of
promising film festivals that return this year to bring you not only the best
of independent cinema but also some local flavour.

Cambridge Film Festival is back for its 31st
episode, and runs from the 15th to the 25th of September.
Spanning various locations across the city centre, CFF will be presenting all
your usual local festival quirks; documentaries, seasons and talks, with a mini
festival for families. Mark Kermode will be hosting a talk focusing on his new
book The Good The Bad and the Multiplex, tots can experience a new dimension of
cinematic mastery as The Lion King 3D
opens the family festival, and film highlights include old fashioned scare
feature Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (Main Picture),
a classic collision of gangsters and farmers in Belgium export Bullhead, and there’s an evening of
outdoor cinema presented along one of Cambridge’s oldest shopping streets. The
full programme can be found Here

If you’re based in or around Somerset, Bristol Encounters is
an international film festival that also incorporates animated and shorts
festivals into its programme. From mid November the city will be bursting with
big screen offerings and events. The shorts festival, Brief Encounters,
showcases both local and international talent. Expect a host of free screenings
and a guest appearance from The Film Programme’s Francine Stock. Animated
will be bringing the academy to the West Country with a collection
of this year’s Oscar nominated animation shorts. The focus of this year’s
festival lies on Brazil and Ireland, with an eye for pushing the boundaries of
technology in these bite size offerings of animation. For full festival as well
as lots of movie events coming up in Bristol click Here

Just round the corner, Bath Film Festival enjoys its 21st
birthday in a slightly more civilised fashion than is usually expected. Opening
on November 10th, full details of the programme are yet to be
released, but with patrons such as Jim
, Ken Loach and Peter Gabriel, expect gratifying stuff.
Click Here
for details of the line up as soon as they’re posted.

The November festival goodness spreads upwards for the
annual Leeds Film Festival. Boasting the film event of the north, the other
LIFF reveals it’s full programme in October, but based on last year’s round up
spanning the undead (Mutant Girls Squad)
blood fuelled violence (Savage)
festive horror (Rare Export: A Christmas
) stop start gory (A Town Called
) and Oscar winner (The King’s
) expect a varied and thoughtful two weeks. News and archives of
previous years are available Here

If you’re French or a fan of all things Français,
La Fête
du Cinéma

opens across the country from the 10th of November. Click Here to
reveal details of the 19th edition of this fancy affair, opening
with multiple nationwide screenings of chocolate centred Romantics Anonymous (Les émotifs anonyms😉 a tale of two shy fools
brought together by their interest in the dark stuff. French language films
Quebec, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium will be featured
in the programme, as well as 100th anniversary showing of Juvé
contre Fantômas
, accompanied by a live electric score. Screenings
will be held over London, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Taking cinema to the coast, the Cornwall Film Festival
begins on the 4th of November, but you can get a salty taster on the
24th of September with Board Shorts 2011. Held at the gloriously
named Lusty Glaze Beach, the British Surf Film Festival will showcase
highlights from this adrenaline fuelled genre with live music. Click on Here
for full details.

The Birmingham Black International Film Festival is back for
a fifth year, providing an exhibition for new talent as well as live music
performances and educational seminars. It also plays host to the Music, Video
and Screen Awards on October 29th, which promises celebrities and
live music. The festival starts on October the 24th, and is
currently accepting admissions Here.

And for a real look into communities and the various British
faiths, Manchester hosts Insight Festival, an event founded to raise awareness
about religion and “promote community cohesion.” The festival encouraged
submissions from young people on the topic of faith, that will be showcased
across the 3rd and 4th of December. This
holds full details of the festival and how to attend.

This is just a taste of the sort of regional events that
organisations, charities and local groups are putting together to not only
bring you a great selection of films outside of what your multiplex has to
offer, but also a side to your community that can’t be captured in the big name
festivals. From your BIFFs to your LIFFs, there’s a festival not too far away
that promises diverse and thoughtful cinema that doesn’t mean a trip to London.

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email:

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