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selective highlights from Branchage Jersey Film Fest

It’s just one week to go before the inaugural BRANCHAGE JERSEY INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (25 – 28 September). The Festival team (Xanthe Hamilton, Philip Ilson, Laura Smith, Jenny Horwell, India Hamilton, Warren Holt and Nina Herve) are all holed up at the headquarters at Vinchelez Manor de Haut in the rural west of the island, planning the final stages of the four day Festival. www.branchagefestival.com

If, as a filmmaker or film industry person, you are interested in attending the Festival, we can offer a FREE FESTIVAL PASS. Contact Laura Smith on laura@branchagefestival.com for an application form to apply for a pass, and then we can also help to co-ordinate flights and accommodation for you.

Newsflash: The Branchage headquarters have been fined £50 under the local Jersey Branchage law!! For the perplexed amongst you, the Festival takes its name from the Jersey tradition Visite du Branchage, a biannual check that all island residents have fulfilled their obligation to ensure that hedges, branches and trees growing on their property are trimmed so they do not encroach on public roads and footpaths. Offenders will be fined!


To break down what the Festival is offering, here’s selective highlights:

• The Festival filmmakers centre will be the specially imported (from Belgium!) Spiegeltent being erected in Weighbridge Park in the centre of St Helier. Here will be the Festival info stand, ticket sales, a Wallflower Press bookshop, and a series of special events from panels to live events (see below).

• The spectacular headland Castle of Mount Orgueil perched on the cliffs at Gorey will be the setting for two events: The Memory Band performing a live soundtrack to cult 70’s pagan classic THE WICKER MAN, and is also the location for our Gala Closing Night film FAINTHEART (Vito Rocco) – the MySpace produced film that caused a stir at this year’s Edinburgh – complete with Medieval persons leading the way across the battlements to the screening.

• The historical Jersey War Tunnels will be the setting for a specially commissioned film, THE ANGEL OF HISTORY, by Sarah Wood using Jersey archive film looking at the Occupation, to be accompanied by a live soundtrack by electronica composer Zan Lyons.

• The Spiegeltent will also host a Friday night Warp Records party with live sets by The Oscillation, Velofax and a DJ set from Broadcast, plus visuals by Julian Hand. Saturday night sees Le Bordee d’Branchage burlesque night with a live set from Paloma Faith and special guests DJs The Broken Hearts. Sunday afternoon sees cult soundtracks and weird musics expert Jonny Trunk host his weekly Resonance FM radio show live from the Festival, followed by evening screenings of The Smoking Cabinet burlesque cinema with live piano accompaniment and WarpVision ‘silent cinema’ screening in conjunction with Gallery magazine’s Silent Disco.
The Spiegeltent will also be host to Shooting People industry panels on producing and a local Open Screen session, as well as the Sunday Lunch Film Quiz.

• The beautiful Jersey Opera House will host the Branchage Opening Night Gala with a Jersey premiere screening of the award winning documentary MAN ON WIRE (James Marsh), about the Frenchman who walked on a tightrope between the New York twin towers in 1973. Producer Simon Chinn will be in attendance. Friday night will see a screening of the Oscar-winning animation PETER AND THE WOLF (Suzie Templeton) with a live orchestral accompaniment by the Kings Chamber Orchestra.

• The Festival sees a full programme of films with visiting filmmakers and producers in attendance for Q&As, including Chris Waitt (A COMPLETE HISTORY OF MY SEXUAL FAILURES), Anne Beresford (MOUTH TO MOUTH), Winstan Whitter (ROLLIN’ THROUGH THE DECADES), Charlie Belleville (THE INHERITANCE), and Danny Hiller (LOVE ME STILL).

• A strong documentary programme sees screenings of Edinburgh hit THREE MILES NORTH OF MOLKOM, powerful warzone documents DISARM, BEYOND THE CALL and HEAVY METAL IN BAGHDAD, award-winning space doc IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON and award-winning charity doc WE ARE TOGETHER, a look at Outsiders in THE MAN WHO EATS BADGERS, plus a strong music documentary strand from a special preview of Berlin hit PATTI SMITH: DREAM OF LIFE to a retrospective screening of the Rolling Stones classic GIMME SHELTER.

• Local interest cinema is also to the fore with a look at the story of Claude Cahun, who defied the Nazis through art and protest, in our double-bill screening of LOVER OTHER and PLAYING A PART, with both visiting filmmakers Barbara Hammer and Lizzie Thynne in attendance. FEMALE AGENTS is the story inspired by the accomplishments of SOE agent Violette Szabo and we welcome her daughter and author of a book on her Mother, Tania Szabo, for a Q&A after the screening. Channel Islanders films will be showcased in our Islanders Films Awards to champion local talent with the help from a UK film industry jury including representatives from the UK Film Council and Shooting People, plus a screening of the young people’s Bootcamp films and a selection on local skateboard films judged by top UK skater Pete King.

• Great British Directors sees afternoon retrospective screenings of classic films by Alfred Hitchcock, David Lean and Powell & Pressburger.

• Le Gun magazine host an exhibition, Crime & Punishment, in the disused old Prison Cells; a talented group of illustrators (and designers of the Branchage website, brochure and poster) unite at this unique venue to host a very different art experience, where each lock up will be transformed into an artistic display depicting the escapades of real life and imaginary petty crooks and villains.

But that’s not all – there’s a further full programme of features, shorts and events across the major venues of the Forum Cinema, the Jersey Museum Cinema, the Jersey Arts Centre and the old Magistrates Court.

Don’t forget: Check out www.branchagefestival.com for THE FULL DETAILS!!!!

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