Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Accommodation offers for the Festival weekend

This year, a number of Keswick Hotels and B&Bs have offered discounts on accommodation for the Festival weekend. There are a range of offers here on our website, including the option to stay on the Sunday night free of charge.

Our early bird offer on Film Festival passes runs out in the new year, so now is the time to book if you would like that extra £5 to spend on fine Keswick Brewery ales (other beverages are available) on your weekend at the Festival.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Sorry To Bother You and more films

We've announce some more films for our 20th Festival. I can guarantee that you will be still talking about Border days after seeing it. From the writer of the novel Let the Right One In, Border is the tale of a Swedish Customs Officer with the ability to sense people's emotions – a smuggler's nightmare. As she discovers where this peculiar gift comes from, we move into magical territory.

Staying in the Nordic countries, Arctic is a gripping Icelandic thriller with Mads Mikkelsen and from Demark we have The Guilty, a taut, gripping drama set within the confines of a police call centre.

On that theme, if the next thing you hear about KFF is by phone, you will know that we will have contracted out our marketing to the company in Sorry to Bother You, a biting American satire on race, resistance, capitalism – and telemarketing.

Details of the rest of the festival programme will come to you – by whatever means – in the days to come.

Early Bird Passes, with a saving of £5, are now available from the Theatre By The Lake.

Sorry to have bothered you!

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Early Bird Passes Now Available

Passes are now available for the 2019 Festival at a special early bird rate. This £5 off offer expires on 3rd January, making a festival pass the ideal Christmas present.

Our opening and closing films cannot be more different. We are going to kick off with Jellyfish, a award-winning British movie set in the deep south of England and close with Green Book, a gem of a film from Peter Farrelly, set in the American South. In between those two films we travel all parts of the compass from arid war zones to arctic ice. A particular highlight will be Carl Hunter’s first feature Sometimes Always Never, written by Frank Cottrell Boyce and starring Bill Nighy, Jenny Agutter, Alice Lowe and Sam Riley.

Further details of the film programme will follow very soon and we look forward to seeing you in Keswick in February.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Your Memories of Keswick Film Festival

We would like to hear your memories from previous Festivals so that we can collate them and show just why this fabulous event has endured.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be posing a number of questions but I’d like to start by asking for your favourite introduction or Q&A by one of our Festival guests. Moments such as those are the essential difference between 'going to a Festival' and 'going to the pictures'.

I have two such stand out moments. Frank Cottrell Boyce’s Q&A after the screening of Millions at the 2009 Festival and Greta Scacchi’s birthday quiz after White Mischief in 2017.

We were all charmed by Millions but then Frank’s interaction with the children in the audience was magical; and for Greta to devise a quiz during the screening of White Mischief and offer slices of her birthday cake as prizes made it a truly memorable night.

But there have been so many such occasions – we’d love you to post your memories on our Facebook page, by commenting on this blog post or contacting us in the usual way.

If your memory needs a jog, have a look at our archive pages on the website

Ian Payne
Festival Director

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Award Winners At Keswick Film Festival

Each year KFF offers an Audience Award for the best of the current crop of films, both features and documentaries based on audience ratings.

In terms of feature films, it was no surprise that Three Billboards topped the poll, although it is nice to see a film that actually lives up to the hype. Edie and A Fantastic Woman were worthy runners up – vastly different and so enjoyable.

There was a bumper crop of documentaries this year, all of which were well received. It was wonderful to see new faces at the Festival attracted by Our Last Tango and the positive response to Human Flow  and to Demain is cause for hope. Amazingly Our Last Tango and Human Flow both scored 90.63% followed by Demain with 86.2%.

Scores for all the films are now available on the website.

The 10th Osprey Short Film Awards took place on the Saturday at the Festival. The Judges Prize went to Best Of Three, created by a group of 16-19 year olds as part of the BFI Film Academy with Signal Film and Media. The Audience Award went to The Bob Graham Round: Running the Fells with Friends by Kaleel Zibe. Congratulations to all the filmmakers who took part.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Sunday at the Festival

It's the final day of the Festival but there's still lots to see:

10:00 Keswick Peace and Human Rights Group presents Open Bethlehem - Studio.
11:45 Gook - Alhambra.

13:45 The Square - Alhambra.
14:00 Human Flow - Rheged.
15:30 Neil Sinyard on George Stevens - Studio.

17:00 Shane - Studio.
17:00 The Third Murder - Alhambra.

20:00 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri - Alhambra.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Saturday at the Festival

It's a busy day at the festival with so much to choose from:

10:00 Keswick Peace and Human Rights Group presents Demain - Studio
10:00 10p entry: A Monster Calls plus Q&A with star Lewis MacDougall - Alhambra

11:15 Our Last Tango - Rheged
11:30 The Work - Theatre By The Lake

13:00 Osprey Short Film Awards - Free Entry - Alhambra
13:45 Human Flow - Rheged
14:00 Mountains May Depart - Theatre By The Lake

15:00 A Fantastic Woman - Alhambra

17:00 Tawai - A Voice from the Forest + Bruce Parry Q&A - Theatre By The Lake
17:00 Woman Of The Year - Studio
17:30 Dark River - Alhambra

20:00 That Good Night, introduced by Anwen Hurt - Theatre By The Lake
20:00 L'Amant Double - Alhambra

22:30 Scared Stiff in the 1960s A talk by Patrick Glen - Alhambra
23:30 Night Of The Living Dead - Alhambra

Friday, 23 February 2018

Friday at the Festival

It's the first full day of the festival and here's what's coming up:

12:00 La Isla - Theatre By The Lake
12:00 The Rider - Alhambra

14:30 A Woman's Life - Theatre By The Lake
14:30 Trophy - Studio
14:30 Directions - Alhambra

17:00 Heartstone - Theatre By The Lake
17:00 Talk: Cumbria On Film - Studio
17:00 Sami Blood - Alhambra

20:00 Sicilian Ghost Story - Alhambra
20:00 Clouds Of Glory - Studio
20:00 Blade of the Immortal - Theatre By The Lake

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

It's Nearly Time...

After many months of planning and anticipation, Keswick Film Festival starts on Thursday!

It looks like we are going to have a full house to welcome director Simon Hunter with Edie, our opening film.

Other guests are now packing their bags to join us over the weekend.

Friday’s guest, David Banning has honed his talk on Cumbria on Film and Lisi Tribble will be travelling north to introduce Clouds of Glory. We will also welcome Lewis MacDougall to Keswick before he hosts A Monster Calls on Saturday morning.

Our Latin American formation dance team have been practising hard for their display after Our Last Tango on Saturday and of course, explorer Bruce Parry should have no trouble finding us for his Q&A after Tawai – A Voice from the Forest.

We are looking forward to welcoming Saturday evening’s guests, Anwen Hurt who will introduce That Good Night in what promises to be a bittersweet session at the Theatre and Patrick Glen who will undoubtedly bring a touch of movie nostalgia to the Festival, with Scared Stiff in the 1960s.

Then on Sunday, we have Neil Sinyard with us, talking about the great Hollywood Director, George Stevens. The screenings of Woman of the Year and Shane will be a superb counterpoint to the more contemporary offerings over the weekend.

What on earth are we going to do on Monday?

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

It is Time to Dance

There will be dance on stage and dance on screen at Keswick in the next couple of weeks.

On the Tuesday (20th Feb) before the Keswick Film Festival, Phoenix Dance Theatre's Windrush: Calyx and Shadows is staged at the Theatre by the Lake.

The work lets us glimpse what the first generation of Caribbean immigrants experienced when they came to England 70 years ago. These new arrivals, known as the Windrush generation, named after the ship the SS Empire Windrush which brought 492 people from the Caribbean to the UK in 1948, marked the start of the post war immigration boom which was to radically change British society.

Then as part of the Festival itself, we have Our Last Tango, screening at Rheged on Saturday 24th at 11.15am.

Our Last Tango tells the life and love story of Argentina's most famous tango dancers Maria Nieves Rego and Juan Carlos Copes, who met as teenagers and danced together for nearly fifty years until a painful separation tore them apart. Relaying their story to a group of young tango dancers and choreographers from Buenos Aires, their story of love, hatred and passion is transformed into unforgettable tango choreographies.

After the screening, dancers from the Cockermouth U3A Latin American Formation Team will perform a short routine at Rheged before opening the floor to everyone inspired by what they have seen to get up and dance.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Bruce Parry comes to Keswick to introduce Tawai

Bruce Parry is coming to Keswick to introduce Tawai – A Voice from the Forest and to host a Q&A afterwards.

Tawai is Bruce's first feature film and draws on his experiences from earlier expeditions that formed the basis of his award-winning television series. He is perhaps best known for Tribe, which ran for three seasons showing him spending time living with indigenous peoples in locations such as Gabon, India, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Mongolia and Venezuela. However, he first came to prominence with children's programmes such as Serious Desert and Serious Jungle. His own jungle experience came, of course, with Amazon.

The film's title, Tawai, is the word the nomadic hunter gatherers of Borneo use to describe their inner feeling of connection to nature. The Guardian described the film as "an empathetic, sumptuously filmed homage to indigenous groups, particularly the Penan, a Bornean community that is held up by anthropologists as a model of a peaceful and egalitarian society."

Bruce is now a champion of the rights of indigenous peoples across the globe and feels that we in the west can and should learn from them. It will be a fascinating early evening session on Saturday 24th February.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

The Man who made Shane and Giant

Those of you browsing the Festival website might have wondered about the choice of Woman of the Year and Shane. The common factor is of course, Director George Stevens, one of Hollywood’s greats who also made Giant, A Place in the Sun and The Diary of Anne Frank

Neil Sinyard, an old friend of KFF – he was a guest at our very first event in 2000 - will be presenting a talk on the great man on Sunday 25th February. The talk, which will be illustrated with film extracts, will explore some recurrent preoccupations and characteristics of Stevens’ work: the yearnings of the social outsider; his hatred of class prejudice and racial intolerance; a commanding visual style where his signature slow dissolve is used to unite and inspire thoughts and ideas as well as signal transitions of time and place.

Colonel George C Stevens was part of the force that liberated Dachau at the end of World War ll and Neil will explore how his wartime service had a transformational impact on his film-making style. 

For those of us with an interest in the history of cinema, Neil’s talk will undoubtedly prove fascinating.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

More Guests Coming To Keswick

The Festival Programme is now complete and there are a few new highlights to tell you about.

Our family film this year is A Monster Calls, chosen by pupils from Keswick School. We are thrilled that Lewis MacDougall, who stars in the film alongside Liam Neeson, Felicity Jones and Sigourney Weaver, is coming to Keswick to introduce the film and host a Q&A afterwards.

We have told you about That Good Night, John Hurt’s last lead movie role. What is new is that Anwen Hurt will be travelling north to join us and to introduce the film on Saturday night.

Another guest coming to Keswick is Lisi Tribble. Lisi was married to Ken Russell and she was able to find a copy of Clouds of Glory, Ken's film about Wordsworth and Coleridge, originally commissioned by Melvyn Bragg for Granada TV. This will be a rare opportunity, so it's not one to miss. The search for Clouds of Glory was prompted by David Banning's talk, Cumbria on Film, based on his book An A-Z of Cumbria and the Lake District on Film. Friday evening in the Studio is going to be fascinating so book early!

Finally, at least for now, our friends at Rheged are putting on an additional screening of Human Flow on Sunday at 2.00pm. It is hoped that both screenings will be followed by a discussion about the issues raised in Ai Weiwei's remarkable film.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Guests at the Festival

Our Guests add so much to the experience and we are thrilled to be able to say that Simon Hunter, Neil Sinyard, David Banning and Patrick Glen will be at the Festival. Others may yet follow their example!

Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter made his first film, Spaceman, at seven years old, starring his parents and his dog. After 50 more films whilst growing up in Dumfriesshire, he embarked on a more traditional film school education and his career to date has been littered with awards.

In 2016 Simon completed his third feature film, his passion project, Edie which tells the tale of an old lady (Sheila Hancock) who heads to Scotland to climb a mountain. The movie which opens KFF on Thursday 22nd, was an official selection in the Edinburgh International Film Festival in June 2016. 

Neil Sinyard

We are pleased to welcome Neil back to Keswick. Neil, Emeritus Professor of Film Studies at the University of Hull, was a guest at the very first KFF in 2000, where he spoke about Shakespeare in Film.

This time around he is telling the story of George Stevens, one of the legendary Directors from Hollywood’s golden age. Starting out on Laurel and Hardy Movies he went on to make films such as Giant, A Place in the Sun and The Diary of Anne Frank. To complement his talk we are screening Woman of the Year (the first pairing of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn) and arguably the best western ever, Shane.

David Banning

David is the author of ‘An A-Z of Cumbria & the Lake District on Film’ published by Hayloft in late 2016, which was shortlisted for the 2017 Lakeland Book of the Year. After studying History of Art and later, Lake District Landscape Studies, his passions combined when researching the films and pieces of social history that were spliced together throughout the A-Z.

In looking for a companion piece for David’s talk we have, thanks to Lisi Tribble, been able to find a rare copy of Clouds of Glory, Ken Russell’s film on the lives of Coleridge and Wordsworth.

Dr Patrick Glen

Patrick Glen is a Postdoctoral Research Associate working at UCL History on the Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project 'Remembering 1960s British Cinema-going'. Extensive interviews with cinema-goers from the period reveal much about the importance of film on social attitudes and behaviours at a time when smoking in the Odeon was the norm.

He is the ideal person to set the scene for our screening of Night of the Living Dead with his talk on Saturday night, Scared Stiff in the 60s.