PRESS RELEASE 26 APRIL 2015
Village Film Festival to return,
bigger and better than before
Early October 2015 will see the third Village Film Festival (VFF), an event first launched by Dedham Films in 2011. And for the first time this year four other community cinemas from East Bergholt, Langham, Polstead and Wivenhoe will all be producing events and screenings.
In total around 25 feature films plus numerous shorts, talks and discussions will be screened at seven venues across the five villages, over a three-week period from October 2 to 17.
Already on the programme are two prize-winning short films with local connections: 2015 OSCAR winner “The Phone Call” starring Sally Hawkins and Jim Broadbent, by Suffolk-based director Mat Kirkby; and 2015 BAFTA winner and OSCAR nominee “The Bigger Picture”, Daisy Jacobs’ inventive animation about her elderly grandmother, first shown at the Colchester Film Festival in 2014.
A full list of films to be shown and other VFF events will be available from the end of July, and tickets will go one sale in August.
As the final VFF 2015 programme takes shape, the five local communities are enthusiastic in their support for the idea of organizing a joint event, but held at distinct local venues.
“Village Film Festival has been part of the Dedham calendar since 2012, adding breadth to the selection of films usually shown at our monthly community cinema at the Assembly Rooms,” says Jax Horswill of Dedham Films. “We are so pleased that four other communities and five new venues will be joining us this year.”
“We shall be trying to offer something of the magic associated with the bigger Festivals,” she adds, “with a programme that includes a selection of interesting and perhaps lesser known titles. In short, a Festival for real film lovers!”
“East Bergholt Cinema is thrilled to be part of this festival,” says founder Sallie Davies. “There are so many films and so little time - this festival will give us a chance to show several films that we have been keen to show but have not been able to fit in over the past two years of our existence.”
East Bergholt Cinema recently was awarded a grant of £10,000 from the Big Lottery Fund to upgrade its equipment. As of March this year it has been showing films at the Constable Hall using a wider screen and sound and vision equipment specially tailored for the venue.
“Langham Film Nights has been successfully operating for over three years,” recounts group member Cliff Jones. “The screenings are a popular feature in village life and attract significant numbers who not only want to enjoy the films but see the events as social occasions. A film night is where you can meet with fellow residents, and therefore a valuable forum for social inclusion.”
Attractive ticket prices, ease of access and a village rather than town-centre location all add to the appeal of community cinema over multiplexes, he feels.
Polstead was one of the earliest adopters of community cinema in Suffolk, says Sue Wigglesworth, chairman of Polstead Village Hall Management Committee, who has since helped set up of other film groups in nearby villages.
Polstead itself has shown some 140 films to date, run two film festivals and taken part in several others, including one to celebrate the work of the East Anglian Film Archive.
“I’m delighted to be bringing Polstead into this year’s VFF,” says Sue, who was a founder member of the Suffolk Digital Cinema Network in 2004.
Wivenhoe enjoys a lively arts scene thanks in part to the University campus there, and counts not one but two community cinema groups. Wivenhoe Film Club started showing mainly art-house and world cinema releases at the Nottage Maritime Institute back in 2003, while Moving Image is a more recent addition bringing the best of independent cinema to local venues using state-of-the-art portable equipment
The two groups describe the VFF as “a welcome opportunity to work together, providing a joint platform to further broaden the appeal of community cinema in Wivenhoe and neighbouring villages.”
26 April 2015
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Contact details for individual film groups are as follows:
contact: Jax Horswill
East Bergholt Cinema
contact: Sallie Davies
Langham Film Nights
contact: Cliff Jones
contact: Sue Wigglesworth
Wivenhoe film groups: