[A] host of familiar faces from the small screen will be appearing in movie roles at Keswick Film Festival (22nd – 25th February).
Sheila Hancock, one of the country’s most popular actresses, opens the Festival in a rare big screen appearance in Edie, which opens the Festival on 22nd February. Released from the ties of a difficult marriage, Edie decides to fulfil a lifetime’s ambition, at 84 years old, to climb a mountain in the Highlands. Director Simon Hunter will be here to introduce the film whose mountain settings must make this the ideal film for Keswick Film Festival.
Fans of Love, Lies and Records will see another side to Mark Stanley’s acting range in Dark River, a gritty drama set in Yorkshire. A far cry from his role as Registrar James/Jamie, Mark plays a young farmer trying to hold on to the farm tenancy after the death of his father, played by Sean Bean, who is a brooding presence throughout the film.
Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale and Top of the Lake) is the star of The Square, winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2016. A biting satire on the art world The Square showcases Elisabeth Moss’ comedic talent superbly.
Most poignantly of all, Sir John Hurt in his last leading role. That Good Night tells the story of a writer with a terminal illness who hopes to put his affairs and family in order before he passes. Playing opposite him is Charles Dance and the interaction between these two giants of the stage and screen is magnificent.
Festival Director, Ian Payne, said: “I hope that the chance to see these household names in quite different guises will tempt people to come and sample the programme in February’ He continued ‘For anyone who likes good plot-driven drama on TV or the cinema, these films will both entertain you and at the same time put your emotions through the wringer!”
Keswick’s family film this year is A Monster Calls, chosen by pupils from Keswick School. In a real coup for the Festival, 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. Screened at the Alhambra at 10.00am on Saturday 24th February entry is just 10 pence.
One of the highlights of the Festival will be the screening of That Good Night, John Hurt’s last lead movie role. Shown as a tribute to the Festival’s much-loved and much-missed Patron, the screening will now be introduced by Anwen Hurt who will be travelling north 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 Russell’s film about Wordsworth and Coleridge, originally commissioned by Melvyn Bragg for Granada TV. This will be a rare opportunity to see Clouds of Glory, so fans of Ken Russell’s work will not want miss out.
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 Theatre by the Lake Studio is going to be fascinating so book early!
Festival Director Ian Payne added: “Every year we try to bring the best of the new releases to the Festival and complement those with a mix of guests and special events. The linking of David Banning’s talk and Clouds of Glory will truly celebrate Cumbria’s Landscape and Culture”
Keswick Film Festival runs from 22nd – 25th February at The Alhambra, Theatre by the Lake and at Rheged.
For full details of the programme visit www.keswickfilmfestival.org
Programme highlights include
- That Good Night – KFF Patron John Hurt’s last lead role opposite Charles Dance
- Edie – Sheila Hancock plays an old lady who fulfils a lifetime’s ambition to climb a mountain in Scotland. Director Simon Hunter will introduce the film
- Clouds of Glory – Ken Russell’s film on Wordsworth and Coleridge, originally commissioned by Melvyn Bragg and thought to have been lost
- Our Last Tango – The story of Argentina’s most famous tango dancers with their routines brought to life by today’s young stars. Shown on Rheged’s Imax screen
- Human Flow – Ai Weiwei’s remarkable documentary on the global refugee crisis
- Night of the Living Dead – 50 years on this is the granddaddy of horror films. Preceded by Scared Stiff in the 60s, a talk by Patrick Glen of University College London
- Dark River – a gritty northern drama starring Mark Stanley (Love Lies and Records, Little Women, Game of Thrones), Sean Bean and Ruth Wilson
Blade of the Immortal – bloodthirsty Samurai swordplay
- A Fantastic Woman – gorgeous, moving film from Chile about a transgender woman facing prejudice after the death of her lover
- Sicilian Ghost Story – a child is the only one brave enough to challenge the code of silence around the Mafia
- The Square – Palme d’Or winning film starring Elisabeth Moss (Handmaid’s Tale, Top of the Lake), a biting satire on the Art world
- Woman of the Year – the first pairing of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, shown as part of Neil Sinyard’s retrospective on Director George Stevens (Shane, Giant)
- Tawai – a Voice from the Forest – Bruce Parry journeys the world
- The Ospreys – Cumbria’s own short film awards
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri – Martin McDonagh’s Golden Globe winning film, starring Frances McDormand (Best Actress)
“An intimate, friendly festival in an idyllic location, offering an impressive, eclectic array of engaging films” – Matt Glasby, Film Writer and Critic