Today: June 16, 2024

New: Oxford International Film Festival

The very first Oxford International Film Festival will pay homage to local filmmaking talent by opening with award winning UK feature Film Two Down. 

Coming to the city from the 27th to the 29th of May the Oxford International Film Festival offers a weekend of world and UK premiere independent films at the Phoenix Picturehouse.

Opening the festival on Friday the 27th at 8pm is Two Down, executive produced by Stephen Fry and Sir Derek Jacobi, the film’s co-writer and lead actress Tori Hart was born and raised in Oxford, making the film, directed by Tori’s husband Matthew Butler, a perfect fit to introduce the boutique festival to the people of Oxford and the international film community. Co-writer and director Matthew said – “Tori was born in Oxford and it was also where Fizz and Ginger Films started. Our first short film, Egad Zombies, featuring Ian McKellen, was filmed there. We also met when she was producing theatre in the area, which led to us filming Miss In Her Teens in Wroxton, which in turn was a stepping-stone for us to create Two Down. Both of us are hugely excited to be screening the film in the place where it all began, coming home for Tori, and also honoured to have been picked to open the festival at the very special Phoenix Picture House, in what promises to be a an amazing weekend”.

OxIFF is to be a sister festival to the highly successful Manchester International Film Festival, and Oxford’s co- director Neil Jeram Croft said – “OxIFF has been designed to be an intimate and eloquent filmmaker festival where film enthusiasts can get first hand insights from directors, writers, actors and producers from the premiering films, a style which will blend well with the beautiful city of Oxford”.

Programming director Al Bailey said – “it’s exciting to be working with a fresh programming team and the Phoenix Picturehouse to bring an exciting selection of independent films to Oxford”. The inaugural event starts with an opening gala night on Friday 27th May at Phoenix Picturehouse Oxford, with a presentation of Two DownN and a selection of premiering Short films, which will be followed by a Q and A session with the selected filmmakers. The festival will then carry through the bank holiday weekend with a jam packed line up of premiering films from the world of independent cinema with notable highlights being the UK premiere of satirical comedy For All Eyes Always starring The Goonies’ Sean Astin; the international premiere of Nathan East – For The Record, starring Eric Clapton, Lionel Richie and Herbie Hancock; Raindance’s film of the festival Kicking Off starring Warren Brown; the Bryan Stringer produced Out Of The Village and the David Fincher championed Bricks starring Jason Flemyng. A closing night awards ceremony on Sunday 29th May will wrap up proceedings.

Tickets and festival passes are available from Phoenix Picturehouse and full details of all the films can be found at and 

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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