The ninth annual Cornwall Film Festival will take place the weekend of November 5-7 at the Phoenix Cinema Falmouth. Tickets are on sale, there are some great shorts and features, and we’ve got the programme, in case you need more convincing.
‘We really will ‘remember, remember the fifth of November’ this year,’ said festival director Donna Anton.
‘Like arts organisations all across the UK, we suffered the effects of deep budget cuts to the point that we weren’t sure the show would go on. But thanks to the generosity of a number of individuals and businesses, and an extra financial boost from Cornwall Council, we’re thrilled to be going ahead.’
A good thing too, because this year’s programme is incredibly diverse, with a wide range of feature films and documentaries (many in preview); the best in Cornish short films including several competitions; an expanded category of Cornish heritage films and documentaries; plus a host of professional development workshops and talks for film enthusiasts of all backgrounds.
‘Even more than last year, we have something for everyone,’ said Donna. ‘And with lower prices on weekend and day passes, attendees can get a great deal taking advantage of just the Cornish film or workshops strands, or seeing a wide variety of feature films at a deep discount.
‘I should also add -because we’re already getting panic-stricken calls -that we will have multiple screenings of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest!’
Also new this year is the Golden Chough Grand Prize, to be awarded to the film that best represents the spirit of the Cornwall Film Festival.
Most of this year’s line-up of commercial feature films are Cornwall big-screen premieres, including:
Another Year -Mike Leigh’s latest comedy-drama, short-listed for best film at both the Cannes and London film festivals. Screening sponsored by the Cher Varya Group.
Blood+Roses -A Cornish take on the vampire genre, filmed in Cornwall. Not for the squeamish. First-time director Simon Aitken will introduce and offer a Q&A after the screening.
Catfish -The controversial social-networking documentary seen as a ‘companion’ film to The Social Network. To be released in the UK on 17 December.
Countdown to Zero -Called ‘terrifying’ by the Guardian, this documentary’s talking heads discuss the real dangers of a nuclear explosion by accident or by committed terrorists. Most of the experts are proposing total nuclear disarmament. To be released in the UK on February 18 2011.
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest -Crime thriller extraordinaire. The highly anticipated finale of the Millennium trilogy’s Swedish film adaptations. Multiple screenings throughout the weekend. To be released in the UK on November 25.
Kings of Pastry -High-stakes, nail-biting drama in the kitchen as three chefs enter the professional pastry Olympics in France, with some (literally) shattering results. Screening sponsored by Rick Stein.
Peepli Live -A Hindi-language satire of two Indian farmers advised to commit suicide so their families can benefit from a government aid programme for indebted deceased farmers.
Pianomania -Steinway & Sons’ master piano tuner, Stefan KnÃ¼pfer, tries to create the perfect pitch for clients such as Alfred Brendel, Lang Lang and Pierre-Laurent Aimard. A fascinating peak behind the world’s great concert halls.
Red Hill -A young new police officer, a small country town, and an escaped prisoner seeking retribution, this tale of bloody revenge takes the Western film genre to the Australian outback. To be released in the UK in 2011.
Restrepo -Filmed over the course of a year, this riveting documentary provides extraordinary ’embedded’ insight into the daily life of a US Army platoon struggling against the Taliban, in one of the most dangerous areas of Afghanistan.
Rio Breaks -A surfing documentary that follows two boys from the slums of Rio in their quest to become professional surfers. To be preceded by this year’s Board Shorts short-surf-film entries (Board Shorts is delayed until 2011). The film’s co-writer, Vince Medeiros, will offer a Q&A after the screening.
Seachd: The Inaccessible Pinnacle -A big-screen reprise of the 2007 Gaelic-language adventure-drama filmed on the Isle of Skye. Fantastic photography. Great for the whole family.
Skeletons -This quirky, surreal comedy about exorcists who remove skeletons from people’s cupboards won Best New British Film at the Edinburgh film festival. Its lead actors, Ed Gaughan and Andy Buckley, will introduce and do a Q&A after the screening. Screening sponsored by University College Falmouth and Truro College.
Tamara Drewe -A special screening of the romantic-comedy based on Posy Simmonds’s graphic novel of life and love in the Dorset countryside. Posy Simmonds and actress Josie (‘Zoe’) Taylor will hold a Q&A after the screening. Screening sponsored by University College Falmouth and Radix Communications.
Welcome -A teenage Kurdish refugee from Iraq escapes to Calais to swim the English Channel and join his girlfriend in London. A beautifully acted film, in French, Kurdish and English.
Cornish heritage and culture
The CFF presents the largest-ever category of films to celebrate Cornish and Celtic heritage, as well as stories of everyday life in Cornwall.
Skynt -The first-ever Cornish-language short-film musical is not to be missed. Its exuberant finale brings to mind, well, Collywood! Winner of last year’s £5,000 Govyn Kernewek Cornish-language filmmaking prize, sponsored by MAGA and Awen.
Cornishcopia -An expanded programme of made-only-in-Cornwall documentaries, featuring every aspect of life, from every corner west of the Tamar.
Govyn Kernewek Revue -A complete screening of all the Govyn Kernewek Cornish-language films since the award’s inception.
The Open Sky: Watercolour Artists in Newlyn -Four Royal Watercolour Society artists follow in the footsteps of Stanhope Forbes and his contemporaries. Precedes the RWS exhibition at the Royal Cornwall Museum -November 20 January 15.
On the Water -A 56-minute documentary starring pilot gig rowers on the Helford river.
‘My Newlyn’ Short-Film Programme -A compendium of short films shot in and around Newlyn over the past year.
Workshops and talks
Professional development events and talks are intended to inspire and inform filmmakers and film enthusiasts alike. The first three sessions are in cooperation with the Cross-Channel Film Lab, a research and business partnership between professional filmmakers in Brittany and Cornwall.
The Low-Down on Low-Budget Visual Effects -Presented by the VFX supervisor of “First Men on the Moon,’ produced by Rushes Postproduction Ltd, London
3D in 2010: An In-Depth Look -A multifaceted offering of 3D pilot film (“Distant Thunder), 3D horror short (“Creeping Zero”) and audience discussion. With speakers from Deeble & Stone (Zennor), Inition 3D Productions (London) and Dan Films (London).
Pitching as a Development Tool -Professional tips on making the most out of selling oneself and one’s film project.
The Doctor is In: Dissecting Screenplays -How does a screenplay build on itself? Screenwriter and former film agent Sam North will take apart and stitch back together the beloved modern classic The Shawshank Redemption.
Music to My Eyes -A networking workshop for local filmmakers, musicians, composers and anyone fascinated by the mood-changing effect of music on storytelling. Presented by local musician-composer Phil Innes.
Monograph on Bad Taste -A unique insight into director Peter Jackson’s debut feature and cult classic “splatter” movie, made over four years with money scraped together by a young and inexperienced filmmaking team. Pass the ketchup, anyone?
Moving Up with Coming Up -UCF Digital Animation graduate Pete Jordi Wood will recount his journey to success that led to a pilot script commission for Channel 4.
Weekend Retreat Panel Discussion -Writer-director Brett Harvey and producers Denzil Monk and Simon Harvey will talk about their latest film project, highlighting their experience with designing and producing a feature film specifically for a micro-budget. With sneak previews of their forthcoming black-comedy-thriller.
Film Nation: Shorts – Filmmaking for Young People -Workshops funded by the UK Film Council, being offered across the UK as part of the 2012 London Olympics cultural initiative. Two age groups have been offered to the Cornwall Film Festival: 14-16-yr-olds (Saturday) and 20-25-yr-olds (Sunday). Venue: Dracaena Centre in Falmouth. Free entry. Space is limited. To register, contact the Festival office on 01209 204655.
Other screenings and special events
This year’s special events will include a number of pre-festival screenings in cinemas around Cornwall later in October. In addition to parties on both Friday and Saturday nights and an invitation-only VIP reception on Saturday, the Cornwall Film Festival is has these offerings:
Pre-Festival Screening of the 1929 silent film Piccadilly -With an original musical accompaniment composed and performed live by the popular Cornish band Wurlitza. Venue: The Poly, Falmouth. Date: Thursday evening, 4 November. To be followed by a fundraising auction to benefit the CFF. More details to come on the CFF website.
The Co-operative Young Filmmakers Screening -A best-of collection of films made by young persons under age 19 across the UK, sponsored by the Co-operative Film Festival. To be screened on Sunday of the festival weekend. (Screen Actions, the annual CFF young persons’ film festival, is delayed until later in 2011.)
Unravel Painting-on-Film Workshop -A unique project designed by students at the Royal College of Art and funded by Deutsche Bank. Communities across the UK are hand-painting 16mm film to represent the 874 miles between Land’s End and John O’Groats. Not surprisingly, the CFF is Unravel’s most south-westerly stop. Perfect for young persons and families. Venue: Falmouth Art Gallery, on the Moor. Date: Sunday, November 7. 12-5pm. Free entry. Space is limited. To sign up, contact the Festival office on 01209 204655.
The Big Pitcher -The festival’s all-time favourite event. A chaotic opportunity to pitch film ideas and watch how last year’s winners spent their £100 mega-prizes. In defiance of the Age of Austerity, the prize money will be raised by 25% this year! Venue: Remedies Nightclub, on the Moor. Beginning at 6pm on Sunday, November 7. Sponsored by Skinner’s Brewery and Truro College. To be followed by the CFF Awards Ceremony (free entry for the awards event).
Tickets and passes
The prices on three-day Weekend (Friday-Sunday) and Day (Saturday or Sunday) passes have been significantly reduced this year, to £25/£15 conc. (student/senior/unwaged) and £15/£10 conc. Passes include free entry to all events except commercial feature films, which will be charged at a discounted rate of £3.49/£2.99 conc., or where otherwise noted in the schedule.
For non-passholders, individual event tickets will cost £5.00/£4.00 conc, while feature films will be charged at £7/£5 conc.
Pass applications can be downloaded online from the Merlin Cinemas website. Passes can also be applied and paid for via the Cornwall Film Festival website , or in person at the Phoenix Cinema box office, between 11am and 10pm. Closing date for pass applications is Thursday, November 4.
Tickets may be purchased in person (no booking fees) at the Phoenix between 11am 10pm. Beginning Sunday, October 31, tickets may also be purchased in person at the Savoy Penzance (box office hours: Sunday, October 31 noon-9pm; Monday-Wednesday November 1 to 3, 5-9pm; Thursday, November 4 2-9pm).
To book tickets by telephone, using credit/debit cards call 01326 313072 between 11am and10pm. To book online, visit Merlin Cinemas website. A booking fee of 50p per ticket will be charged for telephone and online bookings. Booking online with a pass will require the pass identification number.
Major sponsors of the 2010 Cornwall Film Festival include: Cornwall Council, Cornwall Community Fund, MAGA, Awen, University College Falmouth, Truro College, Cornwall College, the Co-operative Membership Fund, Event Cornwall, FEAST, South West Screen, the Cher Varya Group, First Great Western, Air South West, Skinner’s Brewery, Falmouth Town Council, Cornwall Media Resource, Digital Peninsula Network, Satzooma, Pendennis Shipyard, Radix Communications, Rick Stein and James St Aubyn.
(images, from the top: Another Year, Catfish, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest, Peepli Live, Red Hill, Skeletons)