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Third annual Minghella Film Festival

  

Third annual Minghella Film Festival, hosted by the family of the Oscar® winning director Anthony Minghella, opens on Friday 11 March with a gala preview of The Eagle (UK release: 25 March), the latest feature from acclaimed director Kevin Macdonald (State of Play, The Last King of Scotland, Touching the Void) which was produced by Anthony Minghella's close friend, Duncan Kenworthy (Love Actually, Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral).

 

Opening night celebrations include a post-screening party at Newport's The William Coppin, with an eight-piece band and dancing into the early hours.   The 2011 edition of the Festival sees the debut of a newcomer's gala event, a showcase for short films made by young islanders on the theme of ‘Comic Relief'.  The new strand was inspired by Anthony Minghella's support for the charity as director of Comic Relief films Days Like These and We Don't Want It: Drop the Debt.   A prize for the best film will be presented by actors Robert Sheehan (Misfits, and the upcoming Killing Bono) and Lauren Socha (Misfits).

 

During the weekend festival audiences will enjoy previews of films by first-time feature-length film directors Leon Ford (Griff the Invisible) and Robin Holder (Eliminate Archie Cookson).  In addition, audiences can look forward to a high quality programme of new short films selected from more than 150 international competition entries.

 

The festival's ongoing tribute to Anthony Minghella's life and work continues with a retrospective of his contributions as a producer (including Academy Award® winning films The Reader and Iris, and the world premiere of Entropic of Cancer - a trilogy of short films directed by Cassius Matthias).  This will be accompanied by a short programme of classic Italian cinema, including Fellini's I Vitelloni and , which Minghella adapted with Michael Tolkin for the 2009 film, Nine.

 

The festival is hosted by members of the Minghella family in partnership with the BFI and the Isle of Wight Young Chamber and will be attended by many of Anthony Minghella's friends and colleagues. In addition to Duncan Kenworthy, Robert Sheehan and Cassius Matthias, guests this year are expected to include the actor Hugh Bonneville, who will introduce Iris, and Italian cookery writer Antonio Carluccio.  A closing night concert will be provided by the highly-regarded folk singer, June Tabor, whose music featured in Minghella's play Whale Music.

 

Anthony Minghella's sister and Minghella Film Festival founder, Gioia Minghella, said: "We are proud to announce our third wonderful programme, which manages once again to achieve our signature blend - so reminiscent of my brother! - of rare and true intimacy with artistic aspiration that would grace any Film Festival in the world.  Over the weekend of the festival, it will be possible to find some of the most respected works for cinema today alongside previews of exciting new films, to have enormous fun whilst generating meaningful funds for really worthwhile causes.  I know Anthony would have been delighted."

 

Money raised from the festival will help fund a new weekly programme of singing therapy for people with dementia (to be launched by the Isle of Wight branch of the Alzheimer's Society on 14 March) and support the screening and making of films on the island.

 

All films will be shown in Newport, at Cineworld, the Quay Arts Centre and the Apollo Theatre. The June Tabor concert will take place in Freshwater Memorial Hall.

 

The full programme of events will be available on the official website (http://www.minghellafilmfestival.com/) later this week and tickets will be available from the Quay Arts Centre, Newport (01983 822490).

 

For further information and to receive programme updates, please register on the website.

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