If you’re a lover of film, then Cambridge is the only place to be seen this August & September. For just over a week the quaint university town is transformed into a celebration of film from across the world, with an itinerary broad enough to please even the most discerning of viewers.
Established in 1977 (and re-launched in 2001 after a five year hiatus) Cambridge Film Festival is the third longest running film festival in the UK, showcasing a wide variety of talent from a diverse array of cultures. Films on offer range from much loved feature length classics to short, and often thought provoking, student made productions. Alongside this, the festival provides a range of other activities including workshops, talks and much anticipated guest speakers, which in the past have included John Hurt, Gary Oldman and Tilda Swinton to name a few. Many big names have also been born out of the festival. Producer and director Christopher Nolan showcased his short film ‘Larceny’ there in 1996, before going on to become one of the most renowned names in film, and Woody Allen remains a close associate of the festival, having premiered several films there over the years.
Whilst many of the film screenings take place in The Arts Picturehouse, the three screen cinema in the heart of Cambridge, there are several other easily accessible venues set up throughout the town meaning it is impossible not to become enthralled by Cambridge’s charm. Other locations for film screenings include Grantchester Meadows by the river Granta, the historic Magdalene Street and at the unique Jesus Green Lido, as well as outdoor screening at the stunning grounds of Childerly Hall. The Festival is also unique in having access to one of the largest inflatable screens in the country, and a team of expert projectionists to enhance the outdoor screening experience.
Any spare time on a Sunday can be spent soaking up the atmosphere in one of Cambridge’s parks where you will be treated to free music by Jazz and Brass bands as part of Cambridge’s Summer In The City Program. Don’t be surprised if you run across some familiar faces in the process; what makes the Cambridge Festival so special is that it attracts big names but in an intimate and approachable atmosphere.
Although the official program of events is yet to be released, chances are this years festival is set to be one of the best yet. Highlights from 2013 included Andrew Mudge’s profoundly visual story ‘The Forgotten Kingdom’, which became winner of Golden Punt Best Fiction Feature Audience Award, and Schmitt and Fuller’s remarkable creation ‘Rhino Full Throttle’, which landed them the Audience Award For Best Short Film.
With tickets set to sell quickly, interested parties should book early to avoid disappointment. A unique celebration of cinema both past, present and future, the Cambridge Film Festival is certainly not an event to be missed.
Cambridge Film Festival runs from 28th August to the 7th September. For tickets, book online or contact the Box Office on 08719025720. Tickets can also be purchased from the Festivals main venue, the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse.
Written by Alice Hall, Edited by Laura Thompson