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Stars line up for Bradford’s celebration of all things film
Nearly 200 films and events, from UK premieres to a free city centre busking session by movie critic Mark Kermode, will take place during this year’s Bradford International Film Festival.
Tickets have gone on sale for the festival, which pays tribute to the careers of special guests Ray Winstone and Barbara Windsor.
Unveiling the programme yesterday, festival co-director Tom Vincent said the aim wasn’t just to show good films – it was also to get people talking.
“Just as next week’s launch of Bradford’s City Park will get people to stop, gather and talk, we hope BIFF will do the same,” he said.
The festival, which has Virgin Media as a major new sponsor this year, features an interview with French film-maker Olivier Assayas, a tribute to animation giant Chuck Jones, the man behind cartoon classics such as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, and a 60th anniversary celebration of Widescreen Cinerama.
Film critic Mark Kermode will be busking in the city centre with his skiffle band The Dodge Brothers on the first Saturday of the festival, and the band will also perform a live soundtrack to 1928 silent film Beggars Of Life.
Mark will interview Ray Winstone for a retrospective of the actor’s 30-year career, which includes screenings of films such as Nil By Mouth, Scum and Sexy Beast.
Barbara Windsor will be in conversation with Neil Young and there will be screenings of her films Carry On Spying, Crooks In Cloisters and Sparrers Can’t Sing.
The festival, at the National Media Museum, opens with musical comedy Damsels In Distress. The closing night film, Samsara, showcases the Earth’s natural beauty and the lengths we go to in destroying it.
Throughout the festival, movie screenings include new features by some of the best names in European and World cinema, including In Love With Alma Cogan, a new British drama starring Roger Lloyd Pack, John Hurt and Niamh Cusack; Sing Your Song, celebrating the life of actor, singer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte; and Wrinkles, an acclaimed Spanish animated feature film.
A New European Feature Award, supported by the University of Bradford, recognises new European film-making talent and provides a platform for films which as yet don’t have UK distribution deals.
A Film-makers Weekend, on April 28 and 29, features panels, workshops and masterclasses with special industry guests offering insider knowledge.
Festival strands making a return include the Unchartered States Of America, focusing on independent American cinema; Bradford After Dark, the festival’s late night horror strand; and the Shine Short Film Award.
Bradford International Film Festival runs from April 19 to 29. For more information and tickets, visit nationalmediamuseum.org.