Cambridge Film Festival returns 19 – 26 October

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Battle of the Sexes

The Cambridge Film Festival returns 19 – 26 October

37th Cambridge Film Festival Announce Full Programme Including Opening Film ‘Battle Of The Sexes’ And Closing Film ‘You Were Never Really Here’, Plus World & UK Premieres, Themed Festival Strands And Special Events

One of the UK’s most prestigious and well-respected film festivals, the Cambridge Film Festival is delighted to announce its full programme for the 37th edition, taking place 19 – 26 October at the Arts Picturehouse Cinema and other venues across Cambridge.  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. 

The opening night gala screening on Thursday 19 October will be BATTLE OF THE SEXES, directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. The story of one of the biggest TV sporting events of all time – the 1973 tennis match between women’s world champion Billie Jean King and ex-men’s champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs – stars Emma Stone as King and Steve Carell as Riggs with Andrea Risborough, Natalie Morales, Sarah Silverman and Bill Pullman

The closing night film will be Lynne Ramsay’s YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE starring Joaquin Phoenix. Glasgow-born Lynne Ramsay is widely reckoned to be one of the most original and ambitious directors of contemporary British independent cinema. CFF is proud to present her new feature, winner of two awards and a seven-minute standing ovation at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, alongside other great examples from her intriguing and audacious body of work including features RATCATCHER, MORVERN CALLAR and WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN.

Behrouz Nooranipour’s A157Cambridge Film Festival 2017 presents a typically diverse, outstanding film programme that offers something for everyone, from UK premieres of new features, to classic retrospectives, insightful documentaries, discovery titles from the global stage, family favourites, and boundary-pushing late-night movies. CFF will be welcoming filmmakers throughout the Festival and look forward to confirming special introductions and Q&As over the next few weeks.

The features programme includes a host of must-see, hotly anticipated titles including: the latest film from Todd Haynes WONDERSTRUCK, based on Brian Selznick’s critically acclaimed novel, it stars Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams and newcomers Oakes Fegley and Millicent Simmonds as Ben and Rose – two children from two different eras who secretly wish their lives were different; Paddy Considine’s much anticipated directorial follow up to Tyrannosaur, JOURNEYMAN, a physically and emotionally bruising boxing drama that focuses on a pugilist rebuilding his life and career after a near fatal injury which stars Considine with fine support from recently appointed Dr Who star Jodie Whittaker; the chilling THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER starring Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman in which Faust meets Sophie’s Choice; Jessica Woodworth and Peter Brosen’s delightful comedy and the perfect watch in the post-Brexitean mood THE KING OF THE BELGIANS and the highly anticipated follow-up to iphone sensation Tangerine from US indie wunderkind Sean Baker, THE FLORIDA PROJECT.

The festival will screen 92 feature-length films, 127 shorts, with 18 UK premieres and 4 World premieres representing titles from 33 countries including: winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, Ruben Ostlund’s (Force Majeure) knife-sharp satire THE SQUARE; Andrey Zvyagintsev’s stark and emotionally desolate tale of a Russian couple in the throes of a terrible separation LOVELESS; Robin Campillo’s drama set amidst the rise of the AIDs epidemic in 90s France, 120 BPM; Chilean director Sebastian Lelio’s (Gloria) emotionally and visually powerful drama A FANTASTIC WOMAN; the delicately observed Argentinian road movie THE DESERT BRIDE; the new feature from Iranian film director, screenwriter and producer Hassan Shahabi, CONDITIONAL RELEASE; Iranian drama THE PRUNING SEASON; the generation-spanning Chinese drama MOUNTAINS MAY DEPART; mysterious Argentinian drama KÉKSZAKALLU loosely based on Bartok’s opera Bluebeard’s Castle; Joshua Z. Weinstein’s award-winning portrait of Hasidic life in Brooklyn MENASHE; Afghanistan-set drama from Spain RESCUE UNDER FIRE; German film adaptation of Helmut Krausser’s bestseller SEX, PITY AND LONELINESS; unsettling coming-of-age drama, set during the 2014 Olympic Games in Athens, SON OF SOFIA; the story of an orphaned 15-year old’s transition to womanhood in a Moldovan village ANISHOARA; Hungarian psycho-thriller STRANGLED; French passionate love story A TASTE OF INK; the story of Kurdish female fighters resistance to the ISIS onslaught RESISTANCE IS LIFE; a homage to the 20th century’s most impassioned artistic statements, MANIFESTO, starring Cate Blanchett; extremely timely French political drama THIS IS OUR LAND; British romantic drama WILDERNESS and a tribute to Jean-Pierre Melville in his centenary year with a screening of one of the greatest heist movies ever made THE RED CIRCLE.

AnishoaraGlobal and personal real-life perspectives from all over the filmmaking world are represented including the World Premiere of Emmy-winning David Schumacher’s THE NEW FIRE about the new generation of nuclear engineers seeking to avoid climate-change catastrophe; Behrouz Nooranipour’s award-winning depiction of the ethical collapse and horrors of war and terrorism in Syria A157; renowned New York filmmaker Bill Morrison’s extraordinary tale of early cinema DAWSON CITY, FROZEN TIME; BUENA VISTA ADIOS, a return to the Cuban music that set the world on fire nearly two decades ago, chronicling the late-life careers of the Buena Vista Social Club musicians; Sonia Kronlund’s astonishing portrayal of Salim Shaheen, the one-man Afghanistan film industry, in THE PRINCE OF NOTHINGWOOD; Anniken Hoel’s investigation of the multi-billion dollar world of Big Pharma in CAUSE OF DEATH UNKNOWN; Sara Najafi’s struggle to organize a public concert for female singers in Tehran in NO LAND’S SONG; Maxim Thompson’svery personal exploration of the role of music therapy in the treatment of children with autism in OPERATION SYNCOPATION; a portrait of the fashion, portrait and war photographer Cecil Beaton LOVE, CECIL with narration by Rupert Everett;  a mesmerizing portrait of one of the most eclectic, iconic New York artists JULIAN SCHNABEL: A PRIVATE PORTRAIT; an unprecedented look at the iconic shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho with Alexandre O. Philippe’s 78/52 plus a Q&A with the director; the last work from the great Austrian documentary maker Michael Glawogger, completed after his death by Monica Willi, UNTITLED; a striking portrayal of time passing in a beautiful English garden FLICKER + PULSE with a rare chance to see the prize winning short A YEAR ALONG THE ABANDONED ROAD on the big screen; BECOMING CARY GRANT, an absorbing portrait of the Hollywood star; THE BALLAD OF SHIRLEY COLLINS which chronicles the folk singer’s gallant battle to return to the limelight; the bizarrely topical story of two passionate eccentrics who want to send the first Dane into space AMATEURS IN SPACE; and the moving story of talented Irish filmmaker Simon Fitzmaurice as he embarks on the direction of his first feature film despite being physically incapacitated by Motor Neurone Disease IT’S NOT YET DARK.

New partnerships with India Unboxed and the Korean Cultural Centre add to the Festival’s diverse programme, further establishing Cambridge Film Festival’s reputation as a champion of high quality, world cinema.

The India Unboxed strand includes screenings of classics by the old masters of Indian cinema such as Satyajit Ray’s CHARULATA; Ritwik Ghatak’s THE CLOUD-CAPPED STAR and the newly restored SHIRAZ: A ROMANCE OF INDIA (with live music by John Sweeney) through to the best contemporary documentaries including ASK THE SEXPERT; INDIA IN A DAY and the Cannes prize-winning THE CINEMA TRAVELLERS about India’s travelling cinemas which bring the wonder of movies to its remote communities.

Three great examples of contemporary Korean cinema feature in the programme with World War II action in THE BATTLESHIP ISLAND, comedy MIDNIGHT RUNNERS and the UK premiere of Kim Ki-Duk’s THE NET who uses the story of a North Korean fisherman who drifts to the South to explore the ideological divisions of the Korean peninsula.

Now in its sixth season the Camera Catalonia strand is dedicated to contemporary Catalan cinema and profiles the varied and creative output arising from one of Europe’s oldest cultures.From the same creative team behind previous Camera Catalonia success ‘Black Bread’, CFF presents the Spanish Civil War epic UNCERTAIN GLORY based on the novel of the same name and considered by many to be one of the best Catalan novels of all time. Also in the line-up this year is a very dark comedy with political undertones THE ONE-EYED KING with writer-director Marc Crehuet in attendance for this UK premiere, a thrilling ensemble drama set in the Pyrenees, THE NEXT SKIN and the UK premiere of a fascinating documentary about the state of the world and the future of humanity IN THE SAME BOAT.

The Cambridge African Film Festival returns for its sixteenth edition, boasting some of the best African films from the last year which display the extraordinary cinematic talent of Africans across the continent, including the winner of the Jury Grand Prix at Berlinale FÉLICITÉ; award-winning coming-of-age feature INXEBA (The Wound), directed by John Trengove; supernatural drama KATI KATI; the Johannesburg-set gripping and deeply moving drama VAYA and WULU which was nominated for the Sutherland Award at the London Film Festival 2016. The special closing night event for CAFF will be a screening of the deeply moving documentary THE FACES WE LOST followed by a Q&A with the director Piotr Cieplak.

A partnership with Cambridge-based Adder Technology means that for the first time CFF will feature cutting edge Virtual Reality, showcasing three extraordinary works that demonstrate the current capability of immersive technology in the hands of pioneering creatives.

The VR content will include a special preview screening of WONDERFUL YOU from BDH Immersive. Narrated by Academy Award nominee Samantha Morton, WONDERFUL YOU  is a virtual reality journey through the strange world of your developing senses; sight, sound, touch, taste & smell. Wonderful You is your story – a journey through your epic first 9 months of life in your mother’s womb. As you grow from a tiny cluster of cells to a fully formed baby, the five senses that will shape your destiny develop and form, connecting you to the world around you. Safe in the womb, you hear music in your dreams, you taste what your mother eats, you see sunlight and colour, your hands grasp what they touch. With original music composed by Timo Baker, Wonderful You is an immersive, mind-blowing experience taking you back to a time and a place all of us have visited, but none of us can remember.

Amateurs in SpaceSECOND DATE demonstrates what VR is capable of in terms of showcasing the nuances of human relationships and WORLD WAR 1: ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE uses VR to offer a different perspective on history by blurring the lines between documentary and virtual theatre. 

The VR programme has been curated by Catherine Allen, founder of Limina Immersive and producer of two of the BBC’s first VR experiences. Catherine is widely regarded as a VR pioneer and thought leader. She is part of the BAFTA VR advisory team, sitting on the education committee, and has judged VR for both Sheffield Doc Fest and Raindance film festivals. Catherine produced one of the BBC’s first VR documentaries, Easter Rising: Voice of a Rebel, which was described by Broadcast Magazine as ‘genre-defining’. Before VR, Catherine worked at acclaimed educational app publisher, Touch Press; winning a BAFTA on the Disney Animated app, with Disney Interactive. 

The Cambridge Film Festival also caters for those who wish to venture into the weird, wonderful and downright strange world of cinema with another boundary-pushing programme of late night screenings of features and accompanying shorts including: Icelandic horror RIFT and The Distant Sea; FASHIONISTA set in the ‘weird’ capital of the world, Austin, Texas with The Stylist; cabin-in-the-woods horror TONIGHT SHE COMES plus Smear; violent and quirky WELL; Manchester-set chiller HABIT; and modern gothic fairytale THE FOREST OF THE LOST SOULS.

This year’s Microcinema programme is organised around the theme of ‘Archive and Memory’ and encompasses 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.

This year’s showcase of magnificent new prints from archives around the world features some of the greatest stars of the silent and sound eras. The ever-popular Archive Strand includes a sensational highlight of French silent cinema CASANOVA and rare German silent THE WOMAN MEN YEARN FOR, with MarleneDietrich in her first great starring role; the great noir melodrama MILDRED PIERCE; George Kukor’s multiple Oscar-winning MY FAIR LADY, Henri-Georges Clouzot’s THE TRUTH starring Brigitte Bardot and THE WAGES OF FEAR all screening in new 4k digital prints. Silent films will have live music accompaniment by festival regulars Neil Brand, Stephen Horne and John Sweeney.

The Cambridge Family Film Festival returns 21 – 26 October with a bumper programme of much-loved film and television characters old and new, presented in a family-friendly environment with selected free and reduced price screenings (the first films of the day, screening at 10am, are free and tickets for the 11am screenings are just £4 each). 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.

MOANA is Disney’s 56th animated feature film and 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; Hong Kong short film THE INFAMOUS CHALK GIRL; and the magical, timeless French short RED BALLOON.

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