The 37th Cambridge Film Festival – Program Highlights

The UK’s third longest running film festival is back for another year; from 19th-26th October, you can head on down to the Arts Picturehouse Cinema and other venues across the country for a gloriously diverse and always top quality range of films and shorts. So, what’s on offer this year?

For the sixth year running, the festival will be showcasing Camera Catalonia; 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. African cinema will also be on showcase this year, with five of the best African films from the last year being played, including John Tergrove’s award winning coming of age film The Wound.

Image result for John Tergrove's award winning coming of age film The Wound.

This year’s Microcinema strand focuses on Archive and Memory, and includes restorations of Margaret Taits’ On the Mountain, and Margaret Respe’s Blue on White Edge and Frames, plus a film from the 2016 Tait aware winner Kate Davis called Charity. Works by Cordelia Swann, Sarah Wood, Gair Dunlop, Sam Ashby and Dick Jewell complete the programme, and all sessions will be free of charge. In the beloved Archive strand, you can check out live music from festival regulars Neil Brand, Stephen Horne, and John Sweeney, as well as restorations of The Wages of Fear and rare German silent film The Woman Men Yearn For, which no film lover would want to miss.

As far as the family is concerned, you can enjoy the new series of Peppa Pig as well as highlights from cBeebies, or if you’re more of a Disney fan, then be sure to check Disney’s earlier and latest animated features, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and Moana. Older children are cetered for to, as there will be screenings of Studio Ghibli’s The Red Turtle, the documentary The Eagle Huntress, Indian film I Am Kalam, Hong Kong short film The Infamous Chalk Girl, and French classic 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.



Raindance Film Festival 2017 – Line-Up Highlights

Here at We Make Movies on Weekends, we champion film-making; the reason we get so excited about film festivals is because they showcase some of the most exciting and varied films from all around the world. The Raindance Film Festival started in 1992, and has been home to some excellent films and many great debuts, including the UK debuts of Pulp Fiction and Memento. Let’s see what the festival has to offer this year.

Image result for The Traveller raindance

Taking place from 20th September to 1st October, this year’s festival has a number of interesting flicks competing for Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Performance. Who decides these? Only a star studded cast of cinematic talent. Just listen to these names: Jamie Campbell Bower, Jack O’Connell, Sean Bean, Celia Imrie, Christopher Ecclestone, Ewen Bremner, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Josh Whitehouse, Neil Marshall and Rachel Portman. That is an extensive list of great talent. Imagine finding out any of them thought your film was worthy of praise…It would certainly be an honour. So what is playing in competition this year?

We have interest picks from all over the world playing in competition; from France comes The Traveller, about a travel agent’s first ever trip and the temptations that come with it, and Tony Gatlif’s Djam;  Croatia’s entry The Constitution, following four housemates divided by their differences; Noise, a Japanese drama about two young girls reflective journey years after a mass shooting, as well as Mukoku from Japan also; from Spain, the horror-thriller Black Hollow Cage, and the US graces us with musical Hello Again!, Maya Dardel and High & Outside: A Baseball Story, which stars Ernie Hudson of all people.

Image result for The Misandrists

Amongst the many competitions taking place, Raindance is also offering strands based on LGTB cinema and films directed by women; definitely two areas of the film industry that need more representation, it’s nice that this festival dedicates the time to what these great talents have to offer. From the LGTB strand, we have queer filmmaker Bruce LaBruce – Best name ever – with his new film The Misandrists, about a young boy who is taken in with Female Liberation Party, then finding out it’s a Lesbian separatist stronghold – Best plot ever – as well the Mena Suvari lead Becks, and German flick Drifter, about an eccentric drifter who comes home to discover his childhood abuser is still alive. Films directed by women include Leslie Ann Cole’s Melody Makers, a documentary focusing on the rise and fall of Melody Maker Magazine; Laura Schroder’s Barrage, starring Isabelle Huppert and her real life daughter Lolita Chammah, as her character returns home to see her young daughter, in the care of her grandmother (Huppert), and kidnaps her taking her on a road trip; and City Of Joy is Madeline Gavin’s inspiring documentary following the first class of students at a remarkable leadership centre in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a region often referred as “the worst place in the world to be a woman”.

But believe me when I say this is just the tip of the iceberg; so many competitions, short films, music videos and VR experiences to be had at this extremely exciting festival.

Check out Raindance from 20th September-1st October in London’s West End.
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