Sunday, 26 February 2012

Osprey Award Winners

There was a great turn out for the Osprey Short Film Awards yesterday afternoon and we were really pleased that John Hurt agreed to announce the winners.

The biggest winners of the day were Castle Productions who not only won the Golden Osprey in the Under 18 category but also the inaugural Audience Award for the best short film across both categories. We are hoping to show their film The Shed before the closing films tonight.

The Golden Osprey in the Open Category went to Rhys Fullerton for Birdie, Rhys was also the writer of last year's winner Stuck and we're wondering if he'll be back next year to complete the hat trick.

The Silver Osprey was awarded to Matthew Wood for The Clone and Me in the Under 18 category and Ewan Dyer for Recovery - The Slow Road in the Open category.

The Bronze Osprey was awarded to Signal Films for Boxed In in the Under 18 category and Samuel Blain for In Dreams in the Open category.

Photos from the event can be found on our Facebook Page and more details will be added to later in the week.

Sunday at Keswick Film Festival

And sadly we come to the final day of the festival but there's still plenty to see. The most popular event of the day (and festival?) is likely to be John Hurt - In Conversation, an interview and Q&A including clips from his films. There is also a rare chance to spend the day (and we mean the whole day!) watching the epic Wagner, described by The Guardian as 'one of the truly great experiences of the cinema', director Tony Palmer will be introducing the film and answering your questions.

Today's films:

How exciting.....

John Hurt has kindly agreed to be the Patron of the Film Festival. Isn't that fantastic!

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Saturday At Keswick Film Festival

Not only are the 12 films today, including 3 on the Imax screen at Rheged, but there are two very special events. Firstly at 2pm in The Alhambra it's the Osprey Short Film Awards. There are 13 short films being shown from Cumbrian film makers and prizes will be awarded to the very best, it's free and you may just be your highlight of the festival!

At 7pm we are really pleased to welcome the Lancaster Millennium Choir back to the Theatre By The Lake. This year they are performing Funny Walks With Wagner, a performance of Libretto and songs alongside compilation of old films.

Today's films:

Friday, 24 February 2012

Festival Photos

We've added some photos from last night's opening party to our Facebook page, we'll be adding more throughout the festival so please like us if you haven't already done so.

Friday At Keswick Film Festival

Today is the first full day of the festival and we have eight films for you to choose from:

Thursday, 23 February 2012

13th Keswick Film Festival Starts Tonight

We start the 13th Keswick Film Festival tonight at The Theatre By The Lake and there's only one film so no difficult choices to make...yet. Pass holders are invited to the opening party from 6:30pm to sample food and drink from some of our kind sponsors. Then at 7:30 the first film is In Love With Alma Cogan a gentle romantic comedy about the potential closure of a theatre. Starring Roger Lloyd-Pack and Niamh Cusack and the first appearance at the festival of John Hurt in a cameo role. You can also see John Hurt in Lou, Sailcloth, The Naked Civil Servant, An Englishman In New York, Melancholia and join us 'In Conversation' with him on Sunday afternoon at 3pm.

Director Tony Britten will be answering questions after the film.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Sunny Days

Are you signed up for our email newsletter? If not, here is the latest email message from Ann:

Hope the weather doesn’t stay like this. Clear blue sky, hot sun, snowy tops, perfect reflections on the lake. You’ll all be walking up a fell instead of watching a film! Can I remind those of you who have bought passes – you will need to book a (free) ticket to guarantee getting in to the Studio for Wagner and the Main House for John Hurt ‘In Conversation’.

It’s strange how the news has boosted our programme this year. John Hurt received his BAFTA between us inviting him to Keswick, and the Festival. Now the Guardian’s leading story yesterday about action under the Freedom of Information Act which has revealed that in 2010 an out of court settlement to child asylum seekers who were wrongly detained as adults of over £1m was made. In spite of agreement by the government that this was illegal, the Guardian has data suggesting this is still continuing. On Saturday at 9.30 at the Theatre by the Lake come and see the Dispatches programme The Kids Britain Doesn’t Want and hear Clare Sambrook, journalist and writer and Rachel Seifert, director discuss the issue.

And then stay and see lots more films – and ok, if you want to walk round the lake we don’t mind really. After all, we can do it any day!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Osprey Short Films

After hours of viewings and weeks of deliberating, the panel of judges have decided on the selection of short films to be screened at the 13th Keswick Film Festival.

Once again all the judges were very impressed with the quality of film making talent in the region and found it incredibly difficult to leave out any of the film submitted to the competition. Unfortunately there is only time to show a certain number of films and the following will be screened in The Alhambra on Saturday 25th February at 2pm:

Under 18s

  • Boxed In - Signal Films (8 mins 3 secs)
  • The Clone and Me - Matthew Wood (5 mins 5 secs)
  • The Contest - Adam Pickford (9 mins 47 secs)
  • The Shed - Jake Laurie (2 mins)

Open Category

  • Bench - Abigail Wright (3 mins)
  • Birdie - Rhys Fullerton (3 mins)
  • Far From Home - Sophie Broadgate (10 mins)
  • In Dreams - Samuel Blain (3 mins 57 secs)
  • Last Post - Ray Turner (9 mins)
  • Our Ordered Lives - Christine Entwistle (10 mins)
  • Recovery - The Slow Road - Ewan Dyer (3 mins 51 secs)
  • The POW - John Hamnlett (9 mins 47 secs)
  • Young Mum - Deborah Sweeney (9 mins 34 secs)

From these films the Golden, Silver and Bronze Osprey Short Film Award will be presented to the winners in each category.

More details on the shortlisted films will be added to the website soon.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Sunday Tips From David

In three weeks time the 13th Keswick Film Festival will be well under way. With so much on offer, how do you pick your way through the programme? We asked David Miller, Festival Programmer, for his tips:

The final day is another smorgasbord of choice!  Two early starts, both at the Theatre, provide the opportunity to see another Human Rights presentation, a Kurdish film, itself a prize-winner with  guest speaker who is both involved in Human Rights in Turkey and assists with the Kurdish film ferstival in London, Mustafa Gundogdu.  Or do you settle in for the 10 hour (yes, that is ten hour) epic that is Wagner, with expert Tony Palmer on hand, and an hour for lunch conveniently built-in!   This is a rare opportunity and obviously one that will appeal to music, as well as film lovers.

The early afternoon choice is one that could hardly be more divergent – the UK premiere of a Chinese film that has one of the most staggering performances by a child actor you are ever likely to see, or gentle Spanish humour .  Little Moth will leave you drained emotionally and Mia Sarah will put a smile on your face.  Which one appeals the most?  And then is it John Hurt ‘In Conversation’ with clips of many of his fantastic films, or A Separation one of the front-runners for the 2012 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year?  John Hurt is a national treasure and sure to have lots to say.  His coming to the festival, especially so soon after BAFTA recognises his extraordinary career by awarding him with the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award is just wonderful.

The two early evening slots are another clear – if difficult – choice, this time between the old or the new.  When the old is the Bfi archive of Tales From The Shipyard, including scenes from Barrow-In-Furness adding a very local flavour as well as Sean Connery’s only film as a director and the new is controversial Director Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia (with John Hurt in the cast!) you can see the dilemma!  And, for the grande finale, the last two films offer the opportunity to see pre-releases of two films that are both sure to be huge when they come out later in 2012.  Does the Argentinian drama Carancho (The Vulture) appeal more than Norway’s Babycall?   Whichever one you decide on you are sure to see a worthy finale to what promises to be a brilliant festival.”

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Saturday Tips From David

In three weeks time the 13th Keswick Film Festival will be well under way. With so much on offer, how do you pick your way through the programme? We asked David Miller, Festival Programmer, for his tips:

Saturday sees the widest range as well as a new venture with the inclusion of Rheged as an official venue. For early risers and those interested in human rights, The Kids Britain Doesn’t Want at the Theatre at 09.30 is a thought-provoking start to the day; you can then stay for the debate with Clare Sambrook and director Rachel Seifert or catch the bus to Rheged to catch up to three films that feature the great-outdoors in all its greatness – and use of the IMAX screen only enhances that experience.

In Keswick at the Alhambra at 11.00 we offer our free family-friendly screening – Ways To Live Forever – and star Alex Etel will be on hand to take questions. Although this is free entry, you will need a ticket so don’t leave it too late. For the early afternoon, do you want to see a collection of short films made by the cream of Cumbrian talent or see two films that feature John Hurt (Lou and Sailcloth)? Then mid-afternoon has a real treat for lovers of the music of Dolly Parton in the UK premiere of The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom. The film has many of her most famous songs interwoven into a heart-warming family-drama. Alternatively, you might be tempted by the poignant yet somehow uplifting story of a cancer patient’s battle to beat the disease in 50/50.

After what is sure to be an unmissable performance by the Lancaster Millennium Choir at 19.00 in the Theatre, the choice is between two of John Hurt’s best and most famous performances or an intense British drama. The John Hurt selection is The Naked Civil Servant (directed by last year’s star guest Jack Gold) and its follow-up An Englishman in New York. The British drama is Tyrannosaur with Peter Mullan at his intense best and a performance by Olivia Colman that will leave you dumbfounded. To finish the day, why not join us to witness Leonard Cohen’s 1972 concert Bird On A Wire, and with an introduction by radio star Tony Palmer.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Friday Tips From David

In three weeks time the 13th Keswick Film Festival will be well under way. With so much on offer, how do you pick your way through the programme? We asked David Miller, Festival Programmer, for his tips:

Friday is really a choice between Looking Good and Feeling Very Good. Our Looking Good theme features films that have scooped awards from across the globe and the Feeling Very Good selection offers humour and a little light relief but usually with a twist! The opening film at the Theatre David and Kamal is a family-friendly film depicting life in Jerusalem as experience by two very different boys who come to rely on each other despite their differences. Over at the Alhambra cinema the opening film Pardon depicts Turkish humour but with a fact-based storyline that will have you gasping in disbelief!

Mid-afternoon options then switch places with a searing prison drama at the Theatre and American humour at the Alhambra. All four films thus far are UK premieres so our audiences will be the first to see these films. The early evening titles offer the same disparity of choice! Do you go for another intense thriller or be humoured by an Icelandic comedian offering his take on the financial crisis?

And, to close the day, is it one of the bloodiest, high octane dramas ever to come out of Korea (The Yellow Sea) or the French box-office smash that may well have resonance with us too (Welcome to the Sticks)! All in all, you can plot your day to see humour from international perspectives or journey across the globe experiencing drama, intrigue and action – and, of course, you can mix them up!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Win 2 passes

Have you got your passes yet? You can get them online at the Theatre website. You have to look hard to find them as they are in the middle of the list of films because of some vagary of the booking system.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

John Hurt at Keswick Film Festival

Are you signed up for our email newsletter? If not, here is the latest email message from Ann:

Hello film lovers,

Have you picked up the hot news from our website, the newspapers or other sources – John Hurt is coming to the Festival. He and his film producer wife will be with us all through the event. He will be introducing a number of his films and there will be an ‘In Conversation’ session on Sunday. It’s always a gamble when guests are not able to confirm until quite late on whether they will be there but now it feels a good decision to be showing In Love with Alma Cogan, Sailcloth and Lou, Naked Civil Servant and An Englishman in New York as a double bill, and Melancholia. All are interesting films in their own right but given a certain extra quality by the presence of the actor.

We have had a bumper number of entries for the Osprey Awards this year. The judges are grumbling about how hard their decisions are again! It just goes to show that creative Cumbria is alive and well. When they can decide on the shortlist we will be letting the entrants know and screening them on the Saturday.

And two late bookings secured by David for the closing films – both pre-releases of which he is particularly proud, Carancho from Argentina and Babycall from Norway.

The brochures have arrived. If you are local collect one from the Alhambra, they will be sent out by the Theatre with passes now.

See you soon
 Ann Martin
 Festival Director

Friday, 27 January 2012

Ways to Live Forever

This prize-winning film is our free family screening this year. It is based on a novel by Sally Nicholls which won prizes for Best Childrens' Book. Just heard 15 of her family are going to come and see the film as they live in the north and haven't seen it before. And Alex Etel will be there too we hope.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

More Garlands for A Seperation?

This contemporary Iranian tragedy, already the winner of a Golden Globe and nominated for a BAFTA, has now been nominated for the 2012 Best Foreign Film Oscar.  The National Society of Film Critics agreed and also gave it the Best Screenplay award.  Enough nudges to make it a must see at Keswick (15.00 Sunday 26th Feb)?

Monday, 23 January 2012

Looking Good for Thrill Seekers at Keswick

This year’s selection of the best from recent film festivals around the world features four cracking contemporary thrillers.  Cell 211 (Friday 17.30) from Spain is a claustrophobic prison drama with an award winning performance by Louis Toser as the leader of a prisoner’s revolt.  

For fast pacing and uninhibited screen violence try Yellow Sea (Friday 20.30) from South Korea.  Is Phillip French’s observation ‘one of the bloodiest movies I’ve ever seen’ a recommendation or a warning!?  

And for the final film on Sunday will you choose Carancho (TbtL) or Babycall (Alhambra)?  From Argentina, Carancho, pitches an emotional love story against the background of commercial exploitation of injury and death from car accidents while the Norwegian Babycall engages us in a psychological dilemma: ‘how far would you go for the ones you love?’

Sunday, 15 January 2012

John Hurt coming to the festival

Great news! John Hurt and his film producer wife Anwen Rees-Myers are going to be joining us for the whole Festival. We are opening on Thursday with In Love with Alma Cogan a film she produced, directed by Tony Britten (who will be here too) with a cameo part by John. Then on Saturday we will be showing Lou with the short, Sailcloth and the double-billing of The Naked Civil Servant and An Englishman in New York. On Sunday at 3pm John will be 'In Conversation' , and at 5.30 we are screening Melancholia

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Melancholia wins US Critics Best Film award

And did you see the news that Melancholia (Sunday 17.30) has just won the US critics best film of 2011 award...

Monday, 9 January 2012

Feeling Very Good

Are you signed up for our email newsletter? If not, here is the latest email message from Ann:

I hope you had a great Christmas and New Year and are now following your new resolution to see more films! Last night the Keswick Film Club started again with over 180 coming to see The Well-Digger’s Daughter. Maybe the numbers were so high to support Tom Rennie, longtime Manager of the Alhambra and great backroom worker for the Festival who has taken over the cinema, saving it from closure. See

The Festival programme is almost complete and this week the brochure should be going to press. Most of the films and the programme are now on our website and tickets and passes are on sale from Theatre by the Lake. In previous mails I have described two of our themes, Looking Good, and Sounding Good. One of the others is ‘Feeling Very Good’ bringing some of the funniest of international film with Welcome to the Sticks from France Pardon from Turkey, Mia Sarah from Spain and No Pain, No Gain from the US. Will they travel well? Come and see.

The other is ‘Feeling Good?’ – this theme includes the free family film Ways to Live Forever, Lou with John Hurt, and the award-winning 50/50. There’s so much to say this year – next time – more about ‘Doing Good’, the ‘Homage to John Hurt’, the Shorts competition and guests.
 Ann Martin
 Festival Director