Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Documentaries at Keswick Film Festival

There is an intriguing set of documentaries at KFF this year.

Our annual collaboration with the Keswick Peace and Human Rights Group has brought the Oscar-nominated For Sama to Keswick alongside Derrière les Fronts (Beyond the Frontlines), which is set in Palestine and records the work of psychologist Dr Samah Jaber. Ken Loach said of the film "Dr. Samah Jaber is a wise and thoughtful woman. She reflects on the subtle, devastating effect on Palestinian people of years of brutal occupation. Alexandra Dols' film shares her insights with us, generous, humane and deeply disturbing. Please see this film." Derrière les Fronts will be introduced by Dr Alan Kessedjian who was instrumental in getting the film screened in the UK.

Then we have The Kingmaker. It is easy to think of Imelda Marcos as a figure of fun, however The Kingmaker makes for a chilling account of the Marcos' regime and the family’s aspirations for the future.

On a lighter note, there is the The Run, following Australian endurance athlete Pat Farmer as he runs the length of India 85 kilometres a day for 64 days. The pictures of India in The Run will dazzle the senses, as will the cinematography of The Cordillera of Dreams. What better way to experience the grandeur of the Andes than on Rheged's massive screen?

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Win Festival Passes

Head over to our Facebook or Twitter pages to be in with a chance to win a pair of passes for the Festival. Just leave a comment telling us which films you are looking forward to seeing and you'll be entered into a draw at the end of the month.

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Honouring Tilda Swinton

You may have read that Tilda Swinton will be receiving a BFI Fellowship in March, reflecting her enormous contribution to the industry.

Maybe a little less glitzy but no less heartfelt, KFF and Carlisle College  are staging our own tribute to Tilda at this year’s Festival. Miss Swinton has agreed to be the subject of this year’s Patron’s Legacy Project, meaning that students are now busy creating films, posters, costumes and set designs inspired by her impressive filmography. The event, titled Cinephoria, to be held on Friday 28th February in the Studio will be free to enter and I can guarantee a fascinating afternoon of Cumbrian talent.  Already some film posters have been produced and the exhibition in the Theatre Gallery is not to be missed.

For our part, we are showing 3 of Tilda Swinton’s films over the weekend. She gives a barnstorming performance in The Personal History of David Copperfield, teams up with Sir John Hurt and Tom Hiddleston in Only Lovers Left Alive and plays opposite her daughter Honor Swinton Byrne in Joanna Hogg’s much-lauded The Souvenir.

Where KFF leads, the BFI follows!

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Ken Russell's Dance of the Seven Veils receives its second screening after 50 years

From time to time we are fortunate to bring a UK premiere to Keswick Film Festival. This year we are incredibly pleased to be able to bring a second performance to the screen - Ken Russell’s Dance of the Seven Veils, his biography of Richard Strauss, was screened just once in February 1970, before it was banned.

Ken’s wife, Elize who will be joining us in Keswick for the Festival, put it succinctly "One viewing and the Beeb banned it. Mary Whitehouse sued. Ken’s mentor Sir Huw Wheldon defended Ken’s vision in court, but the suppression of the film by the Strauss family was irrevocable. Ken was fired and the film was banned for fifty years."

This second screening, from Ken’s personal copy, on 29th February 2020. It is anticipated that the reaction this time will be a little less strident.

In an evening hosted by Elize Russell at the Theatre by the Lake, the audience will get to see Dance of the Seven Veils along with a number of Ken Russell’s rarely-seen music videos and hear more about the creative process that led to the cutting of those restrictive ties with the BBC and the subsequent launching of the unfettered Ken Russell on to the world’s cinema screens.