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Cambridge Film Festival highlights to watch for

7–17th July 2005, Cambridge Arts Picturehouse

The UK’s sunniest film festival celebrates its quarter century this summer when the Cambridge Film Festival returns to the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse for ten days (7-17th July) of UK premieres, international guests, major retrospectives, shorts and documentaries, free outdoor screenings, the second film forum “Critical Condition: Cultural Overload” (9th July) and the Q103 and Dubble Bar Cambridge Children’s Film Festival.

Says Festival Director Tony Jones: “ The 25th Cambridge Film Festival will showcase the finest international independent cinema - from the briefest short film to the grandest 70mm epic. Plus, as this year we celebrate our quarter century we will present a bumper programme of UK premieres and star guests, which will do justice to our loyal, adventurous and enthusiastic audiences. We are determined to continue to present an impressive and imaginative film line-up, the likes of which have put Cambridge firmly on a par with the most prestigious UK film festivals”.

The 2004 Cambridge Film Festival is going to be a hard act to follow. Last year’s event was the most successful ever, smashing previous box office records and increasing audiences by 33%. Over 15,500 people watched 170 plus films – including 40 UK premieres (including Stage Beauty, Nine Songs, Before Sunset, Super Size Me, Comme Une Image, Clean, Coffee and Cigarettes, Riding Giants and End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones). While thousands more watched free outdoor screenings of the Buster Keaton silent classic The General and Richard Linklater’s popular hit, School of Rock on Parkers Piece, Cambridge.
The 2004 Festival played host to an impressive roster of guests including: Richard Eyre (Stage Beauty), Michael Winterbottom (Code 46/Nine Songs), Julie Delpy (Before Sunset), Jeremy Irons (Callas Forever), writer Jonathan Coe (for a BS Johnson tribute), Marilou Berry (Comme Une Image and Robert Carradine (The Big Red One).

A one-day forum on the state of film journalism in the UK –A Critical Condition – brought some of the country’s top film writers to the city to discuss the current condition of film criticism. Speakers included: Mark Kermode (The Observer), Jonathan Romney (The Independent on Sunday), Nick James (Sight and Sound), Charles Gant (Heat), Damon Wise (Empire), and Nigel Floyd (Time Out). As well as film historians and academics: Julian Petley (Brunel University), Colin McArthur, and Ian Christie (Birkbeck College).

2005 Highlights to Watch out for:

* Features so far confirmed (many of them UK Premieres) include: With Blood on Our Hands (Pusher II) (Nicholas Winding Refn), Last Mitterand (Robert Geudiguian), Silver City (John Sayles), Dear Wendy (Thomas Vinterberg), Sarabande (Ingmar Bergman), Paradise Now (Hany Abu-Assad), Yes (Sally Potter), 3 Iron (Kim Ki-duk), Broken Flowers (Jim Jarmusch), Nightwatch (Timur Bekmambetov), King’s Game (Nikolaj Arcel), The Hidden Blade (Yamada Yoji), The Night of Truth (Fanta Regina Nacro), Crash (Paul Haggis), Le Grand Voyage (Ismael Ferroukhi), The Ketchup Effect (Teresa Fabik), and Howl’s Moving Castle (Hayao Miyazaki) as part of a Studio Ghibli Season.

There will be a strong documentary strand this year featuring Citizen Black, (Rick Craine and Debbie Melnyk’s documentary on newspaper proprietor Conrad Black which features star turns from Henry Kissinger and Donald Trump, plus Coma (Mike Figgis), Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room (Alex Gibney), Rock School (Don Argott), Tiger Women Grow Wings (Monika Treut), Rhythm Is It (Thomas Grube/Enqrique Sanchez Lansch and Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey (Luke Cresswell/Steve McNicholas) which will be shown on the big screen outdoors.

* Festival Guests. The Festival is delighted to play host to many film-makers, cast and crew members. This year’s line-up will include visits from Jalil Lespert (Last Mitterand), Diana Wynne Jones (writer Howl’s Moving Castle), John Sayles, Nicholas Winding Refn, Monika Treut, Peter Greenaway, Sally Potter and Thomas Vinterberg.

* Retrospectives & Revivals. A number of much-loved classics return in brand new prints including two of Greta Garbo’s finest performances, Ninotchka and Queen Christina, and Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1969 rarely seen, Army of Shadows. Plus a long overdue retrospective for the Russian silent director Dziga Vertov.

* Critical Condition: Cultural Overload (Saturday 9th July). Following the huge success of last year’s critical forum, this year’s event will look at the cultural bombardment that swamps and often suffocates smaller, less showy features, and films of minority interest. A unique event that will explore how we use our leisure time, which looks at what factors affect our filtering decisions. It will consider the power film critics weald, the influence of film festivals and will feature panels of UK’s leading film writers, as well as film exhibitors, distributors, social commentators and film-makers.

* The Fifth Q103 and Dubble Bar Children’s Film Festival promises fun packed activities, free parties and UK premieres for some of the biggest summer blockbusters and family features. Highlights include the Premieres of: Madagascar, Herbie Fully Loaded, Bob the Butler, and Steamboy.

The 25th Cambridge Film Festival, 7-17th July 2005, Arts Picturehouse,
38/39 St Andrews Street, Cambridge CB2 3AR. Box Office Tel: 01223 504444.

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