Spring into 2018 with the Winter Gardens Film Festival
Blackpool's very own film festival is set to be bigger than ever and has now announced a new programme of discussions, talks and workshops for film-makers and movie fans as well as a dementia-friendly film screening and a Women in Focus Day.
Following the success of last year's event, the Winter Gardens Film Festival returns to the iconic venue from 16th-18th March 2018 and will include its usual variety of classic and contemporary black and white film. Main screenings will take place in the wonderful Opera House at the Winter Gardens.
Built in 1939 as a cine-variety theatre, combining a super cinema with a world class stage for theatrical performance, the venue's capacity of just under 3,000 makes it the second largest theatre in the UK. More recently a permanent HD/surround sound cinema projection system has been installed amongst the Art Deco luxury giving a real sense of 1930s Hollywood glamour to the event.
Women in Focus
To mark #Vote100 Sunday, 18thMarch is dedicated to women in film, focusing on female directors and strong female leads. Highlights include Make More Noise! Suffragettes in Silent Film (1899-1917) a free screening of 21 short silent films from the BFI National Archive showing how suffragettes were portrayed on the cinema screen while their battles were still being waged on the streets outside. A craftivism workshop led by Aunty Social and the Seaside Stitchers raising awareness for local women’s services and the brand new documentary Bombshell: The Hedy Lamar Story (2017).
Families will love The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926), one of the great classics of animation and the oldest surviving animated feature film. This will be accompanied by live music using a spectacular array of instruments from around the world to accompany Prince Achmed’s journey from the Middle East, to Africa, China and beyond. Attendees can also sign up for an animation workshop where they can create their own Prince Achmed-inspired short film.
Families are also invited to “Be Our Guest” at Sing Along Beauty and the Beast (2017) on the Sunday. With low ticket prices, it’s an affordable day out for all the family.
Dementia Friendly Screening
Festival favourites Lancaster Millennium Choir returns to the festival with their unique take on black & white classics. This year they present The Lone Ranger, in which attendees can experience the first episode of the classic 1950s series as they’ve never seen (or heard it) before!
This dementia friendly screening has experienced ushers to meet, greet and seat guests and the Opera House will be adapted to be as calming and comfortable as possible with low level lighting throughout the performance, lowered volume and audience participation.
For Contemporary Film Fans
The Saturday night screening of new British film The Black Gloves (2017) includes a Q&A with director Lawrie Brewster. Brewster is passionate about making bold, original horror films that are rich with mythology and lore. His previous films ‘Lord of Tears’ and ‘The Unkindness of Ravens’ have both received critical acclaim and most importantly, high praise from horror fans who are hungry for something different.
Saturday will also include a film-making masterclass with Blackpool-based producer Brad James.
Festival director, Catherine Mugonyi, "We are delighted to introduce a more interactive element to the Festival programme. We’ve always wanted to give people the opportunity to learn and share their love of film so including workshops and talks is a natural progression. We are also very pleased to offer a Dementia-friendly screening where the audience are encouraged to join in with the live music.
The Festival is now part of the Winter Gardens events calendar and the new elements will also raise the profile further afield. We want Blackpool people to be involved at every stage and would love to hear from anyone who would like to get involved.”
The Festival is presented by the Winter Gardens Trust and Blackpool based arts group Aunty Social supported by Blackpool Council and the Winter Gardens venue management.
The full programme of films and events is available on the website: www.wintergardensfilm.co.uk or searching for Winter Gardens Film Festival on Facebook.
Tickets are available now ranging from free events to £50 VIP wristbands which give entry to all events plus a selection of Festival goodies.