Wednesday, 30 November 2016

It's Not All Subtitles

Whilst we pride ourselves on bringing you the best of world cinema, that doesn't exclude the English speaking nations.

We open with The Patriarch, a family saga from New Zealand, then there is a strong showing from the USA - Manchester by the Sea sees a superb performance from Casey Affleck, La La Land is a "beguiling musical romance" starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, from the director of Whiplash. The joyous Paterson and Reaching For The Moon are part of our Poets theme and Loving tells of persecution of an inter-racial couple in 1950s Virginia.

Throughout the weekend we will be featuring the work of Michael Curtiz. You would think making Casablanca would be enough in one year for any man, but in 1942 Curtiz made Yankee Doodle Dandy and Captains of the Clouds as well. Find out more about the man and his films from our special guest, Adam Feinstein.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Poetry At Keswick Film Festival

Our poetry strand this year crosses continents and spans centuries.

Draw on Sweet Night is festival favourite Tony Britten's working of the story of John Wilbye, writer of madrigals; Reaching for the Moon chronicles of the tragic love affair between American poet Elizabeth Bishop and Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares, against the breathtaking backdrop of Rio de Janeiro.

Neruda, where director Pablo Larrain and Gael Garcia Bernal combine again to great effect, is also set in South America as poetry and politics collide in 1940s Chile. Jim Jarmusch's Paterson was described as "perhaps the most purely pleasurable film at Cannes this year". A week in the life of a New Jersey poet and bus driver, it is a joy to watch with scenes blatantly stolen by Nellie the bulldog, the rightful winner of the Palme D'Og.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Critical Acclaim – The New Critics' Award at KFF18

Do you read the reviews before going to the pictures? Does a bad review stop you from going?

Critics affect our viewing choices and can make or break a new release, so this year we are bringing 3 top critics to Keswick and asking them to choose their film of the year, present it at KFF and we are asking you, the audience, to vote on their selection. In the run up to the Festival and over the course of the weekend there will be an ongoing, online conversation about those choices.

Before the Festival we will be showing their all-time favourite films – Airplane! If.... and Theatre of Blood - in an amazing triple bill at the Alhambra and for those of you not able to get there, we will be inviting you to watch them at home and join in the conversation from there.

Why not write your own review of one of those classics for the chance to win tickets at the Festival!

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook or sign up to receive our e-mails to find out just which films our critics have selected and use #KeswickFilm to join the conversation.

The Critics

Matt Glasby (@mattglasby) is a film critic for Total Film and GQ among others, and a member of the London Critics' Circle.

Karen Krizanovich (@Krizanovich) is a journalist, writer, researcher, public speaker and broadcaster and is the honorary secretary of the London Film Critics’ Circle and a jury associate for the international film critics’ association

Ali Catterall (@AliCatterall) is a film journalist based in London, who writes and has written for a great many journals, some of which actually still exist, including The Guardian, Total Film, Q, Time Out and The Word.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Films At Rheged

Once again we'll be heading to Rheged on the Saturday of the Festival (Feb 18th) to show two films on their giant screen.

Paths of the Soul

Not many films score 100% on Rotten Tomatoes but this tale of an epic 1200 mile pilgrimage across Tibet will make wonderful use of the Rheged Imax screen.
"Road movies are a staple of cinema but they are rarely as breathtaking, immersive and intense as Zhang Yangs fascinating docu-fiction hybrid....This is slow cinema at its best."
Amber Wilkinson Eye for Film
Wolf Totem
A UK premiere of Jean Jacques Annaud's (The Name of the Rose, Seven Years in Tibet) masterpiece, Wolf Totem is set in Mongolia during the cultural revolution as two students needing 're-education' are sent to live with nomadic herdsmen.
Katie Walsh, Seattle Times

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Festival Newsletter

Make sure you are signed up to our newsletter to be the first to hear about the latest additions to the programme.  Here's part of the last email from our new director Ian Payne:
The nights are drawing in, there’s a nip in the air, the leaves are changing colour and our thoughts naturally turn to The Keswick Film Festival! 
What is there to look forward to during the long winter evenings to come? The programme of films already looks stunning. American Honey, Toni Erdmann and La La Land have been receiving tremendous reviews and will be highlights of the Festival. Add to those titles The Patriarch and Neruda and the prospects look even brighter. As ever, our selections portray the best and worst of human behaviour, from the creation of lyrical poetry for the delight of others to the awful intolerance people can feel for one another.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Osprey Short Film Awards 2017

We are now accepting entries for the 2017 Osprey Short Film Awards at the 18th Keswick Film Festival. To be considered for the awards a film must
  • Have a significant connection to Cumbria or Keswick Film Festival
  • Be no more than 10 minutes long.
  • Have been completed during 2016
For full details on all the rules and how to enter please visit the Short Film Awards section of the website.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Osprey Short Films 18 & Under Winner: The Eletheromaniac and the Nostalgic

Watch the winning short film in the 18 & Under category from Harriet Wigginton and read about it in the Times & Star.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Osprey Short Films Open Category Winner: Mourning

Watch the winning short film in the Open category, Mourning by N. Andrew Elliot.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Osprey Short Film Award Winners

Congratulations to all eleven films shortlist for this year's Osprey Short Film Award. All of the films screened at The Alhambra on Saturday received 'Highly Commended' certificates. Many thanks to Rayna Campbell, the director of Lapse of Honour for announcing the winners in each category as follows:

18 & Under: The Eleutheromaniac and the Nostalgic by Harriet Wigginton
Open: Mourning by N. Andrew Elliot
Audience Award: Autumn Veil by BFI Film Academy

Sunday at the Festival

It's the final day of the festival but there's still lots to enjoy:

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Saturday at the Festival

Lots going on today at the Festival. An animation themed programme for children at Rheged, the Osprey Short Film Awards, a talk on special effects, Mark Kermode's Best Foreign Language Film, Q&As with the directors of Lapse Of Honour and The Closer We Get and the day ends with a late night screening of the critically acclaimed A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night.

Friday, 26 February 2016

Friday at the Festival

It's the first full day of the Festival and there's plenty to choose from:

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Opening Night From 6:30pm

The 17th Keswick Film Festival starts tonight at The Alhambra. There will be free drinks with live jazz, original songs, poetry and visuals from Total Recall - the youth project linked to our Memory strand and the launch of Will You Take Us In, Please? a new book on the Alhambra's 100 year history.

We welcome Tony Britten (In Love with Alma Cogan, Benjamin Britten - Peace and Conflict) back to Keswick to introduce his latest film, Chick Lit which we hope will raise a smile and a smirk to get the festival started.

After the film there is a party for pass-holders at the Golden Lion. Drinks can be bought at the bar and there will be lovely snacks and great company. A chance to discuss which of the other 28 films you'll be watching throughout the festival.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Guests: Tom Allen

Karun - Sunday 28th 12:30pm, Alhambra
Last Explorers On The Rio Santa Cruz - Sunday 28th 2:10pm, Alhambra

Tom Allen's film Janapar was hugely enjoyed at the Festival last year. This year he brings two films to the Festival along with the chance to chat about his exploits – and of course cycling. He says online, "Since 2006 I’ve been going on bicycle adventures to places like Sudan, Iran, Yemen, Syria, the Arctic, Ethiopia, Armenia and Mongolia. There’s about 40 countries on the list, but numbers are boring. A love of adventure is what drives my journeys, and a love of writing is what drives my blog".

Children's Animation Workshop at Rheged

Hey children,

Do you want to learn or develop your animation skills? Sheryl Jenkins, educator and animator will show you how to make your own flip book and then create a group film using pixilation, an animation technique using people, where you become one of the animated characters.  You can also bring along your cuddly toy, action figure, car or doll if you'd like them to star in the film too.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Guests: Simon Hughes

Simon Hughes
Simon Hughes On Special Effects - Saturday 4pm, Studio

Simon has been in the film industry for over 10 years and has worked as visual effects supervisor on films as diverse as Suffragette, Black Sea and The Theory of Everything. With clips of film and his experience he will take us into the world where what you see is no longer what is real. He will be pleased to answer questions

Guests: Roxanne Pallet

We are pleased to announce that Roxanne Pallett, star of Emmerdale, Dancing on Ice and Casualty will be attending the festival on Friday. Roxanne plays Carla in The Violators  (Alhambra, Fri 6pm) and will attend the screening with director Helen Walsh.
Roxanne burst onto our screens in 2005 in ITV's Emmerdale as Jo Stiles-Sugden. and instantly earned national recognition and nominations for Best Actress, Sexiest Female and Best Storyline. Her portrayal as the feisty but flawed character gripped the nation with the biggest domestic abuse storyline on screen that year, earning the actress 6 nominations and huge critical acclaim for her emotional performance as the vulnerable Jo.

2010 saw Roxanne treading the boards in three consecutive lead theatre roles - 1950's musical Around The Clock, Eve Ensler's sell out UK tour The Vagina Monologues and in 2011 she won the  role of Tina in two-hander, Satin 'n' Steel, directed by Joyce Branagh, which won her as much credibility and popularity on stage as she did previously on screen.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Guests: Rayna Campbell

Rayna Campbell
Lapse Of Honour - Saturday 7pm. Theatre

Rayna Campbell is a producer, screenwriter and actor, based in London
but originally from Manchester. She won a New York Times scholarship to
train at the American Academy of Dramatic Art in New York and recently starred in Layla Fourie which opened in competition at the Berlin Film Festival and won the special mention award. Rayna also won best actress for her role at the women's International Film Festival in Morocco.

Lapse of Honour is her debut feature which is set in and around her native Manchester.

Guests: Karen Guthrie

Karen Guthrie
The Closer We Get - Saturday 4pm, Theatre

Karen was raised on the West coast of Scotland and now lives on a smallholding in the rural Lake District. She met co-producer and Director of Photography Nina Pope whilst students at Edinburgh College of Art and they have since worked together on many creative projects and commissions. Together they founded Somewhere in 2002 and have undertaken art commissions from the likes of Tate Modern and Cambridge University alongside their three feature documentaries: Jaywick Escapes, Living with the Tudors and Bataville:We Are Not Afraid of the Future.

The Closer We Get is Karen's solo directorial debut.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Guests: Helen Walsh

Helen Walsh
The Violators - Friday 6pm, Alhambra

Hailing from Warrington, Helen Walsh is an award-winning author (her first novel, Brass, won the Betty Trask award and her second, Once upon a Time in England, won a Somerset Maugham award) who has turned her considerable talents to screenwriting and directing. The Violators is her debut feature set in a grim Cheshire housing estate. Described as "a visceral and powerful debut film with more than a few twists along the way" it too has been nominated for many awards on the European Festival circuit.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Guests: Tony Britten

Chicklit - Thursday 7pm, Alhambra

We welcome Tony Britten back to Keswick where this year he achieves the singular honour of opening the Festival for the second time. In Love with Alma Cogan charmed audiences in 2012 and Tony returned the following year, with both film and cast of Peace and Conflict, his feature about the life of Benjamin Britten. Tony is a prolific composer and arranger of film, opera and theatre music and being a serious jazz fan may share some insights into our Jazz theme this year.

Accommodation, Penrith Events and Travel News

There are some great hotel deals after half-term. If you are living in Cumbria you can stay in the lovely hostel in Borrowdale, Barrow House, half price, subsidised by the Flood Fund. Or Denton House is in the town and has vacancies throughout the Festival. Unfortunately the YHA hostel is closed after flooding.

We are having some activities in Penrith too this year. The Soup Shop in the Devonshire Arcade is hosting events on Friday and Saturday. We will be showing the short films there and Blue Jam will have a childrens' orchestra there on Saturday morning.

Transport is improving and buses are running along the 591 through Dunmail Raise now. The Virgin Trains offer continues with 30% off Advance Off-Peak fares.

Saturday, 30 January 2016


Can't decide what to see at the festival, here are trailers for most of the films:

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Special Festival deals for Accommodation and Car Parking

We are pleased to announce that the Lake District Hotels Group is offering a tremendous deal with special rates for Festival goers in its various establishments in and around Keswick, including the Inn on the Square, The Skiddaw, The Kings Arms, The Lodore and The Borrowdale. Festival goers booking via this link will also be eligible for discounts on Festival Passes and individual tickets.

Use this special link to book your accommodation – rooms are allocated on a 'best available' basis.

Allerdale Borough Council has also offered a special deal on car parking passes for the weekend of the Festival. Passes costing £5 will be available to purchase at the Alhambra and the Theatre by the Lake and will be valid from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th February.

Thanks to both partners, Lake District Hotels Group and Allerdale Borough Council – Keswick is Open for Business!

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Crossing Continents

For a fully immersive experience at the festival, how about trying our world tour?

Your tour starts on Friday with The Wonders, a delightful Italian film where the routine of a rural family is disrupted by two intruders. Fly west in the afternoon, to Brazil for The Second Mother, concerning the tensions faced by a housekeeper as her family interacts with that of her employers.

East again to France for Polisse, a gripping police procedural and your day is complete with Life in a Fishbowl, an Icelandic film about the inter-connected tales of 3 people as the banking crash looms.

Saturday starts in India with the lunchtime showing of Court, a drama that highlights the absurdities of the judicial system. A choice in the afternoon. Whether to go to Scotland, for the documentary The Closer We Get, described as 'an astonishing story of broken dreams, loyalty and perhaps redemption' from the Memory strand  or to Japan for Still the Water, a coming of age drama on a subtropical island. Stay in the far east in the evening for The Assassin, a visually stunning martial arts drama set in China and then as a seasoned traveller, you will have built up your endurance for one last film. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night from Iran is our late night frightener.

Sunday morning. Stay in Iran for the first leg of a Tom Allen double bill - Karun, charts his journey along that river and the cultural and physical challenges he faces. That's followed by The Last Explorers on the Rio Santa Cruz, his trip along a river under threat from dambuilding in Patagonia. You can swap travellers' tales with Tom after the film at his Q&A.

After Dukhtar from Pakistan there will be just time to catch The Wolfpack, the amazing New York story of 7 siblings hidden from society and who know the world outside only through film. And what better way to finish, than seeing patron Sir John Hurt in AKA Nadia from Israel, where a woman’s hidden past come back to haunt her?

3 days, 13 countries, 14 films, zero carbon footprint, what better way to travel?

Programme Nearly Ready

The programme is almost complete and it's looking great. Not as gloomy as sometimes – we are opening and closing with films with our patron and favourite guest in – who we hope will be here. Chick Lit as the opener and A.K.A.Nadia to close. I have persuaded David to include one of my favourite films of the year The Wolfpack, a documentary I found fascinating. There's lots more listed on the website where you can also find trailers and there'll be more details on all the films coming soon.

We are also welcoming Simon Hughes who  has been in the film industry for over 10 years and has worked as visual effects supervisor on films as diverse as Suffragette, Black Sea and The Theory of Everything. With clips of film and his experience he will take us into the world where what you see is no longer what is real.
Ann Martin, Festival Director