ILKLEY Film Festival goes from strength to strength, with a new programme offering more than 40 screenings.

The new season opens with Suffragette, starring Meryl Streep and Carey Mulligan, and closes with cult classic Run Lola Run, accompanied live by jazz band The Bays, performing live for the first time in more than five years. The score will be improvised, and has never before been performed in Yorkshire before.

The festival, which has so far attracted more than 11,000 visitors from as far as Glasgow, offers a range of documentaries, feature films, live events and children's movies, bringing a myriad of firsts to the new Ilkley Cinema.

The new programme includes the eagerly-awaited big screen adaption of Dad’s Army, shot on location across Yorkshire; The Danish Girl starring Eddie Redmayne in a moving portrayal of Lili Elbe, one of the first people to undergo sex reassignment surgery; Carol, starring Cate Blanchett in a performance tipped for an Oscar nod; and In the Heart of the Sea, a re-telling of Moby Dick, starring Chris Hemsworth and Cillian Murphy.

The festival also presents preview screenings of The Witch starring Game of Thrones star Kate Dickie, and Ice and the Sky, which closed this year's Cannes Film Festival to a standing ovation. Other previews include King Jack, about a summer break from the perspective of a bullied teenage boy, and British film Black Mountain Poets about a pair of on-the-run sisters who assume the identity of poets and find refuge at a poetry camping weekend.

Yorkshire films and makers have a prominent representation, with several screenings. Miss You Already, partly filmed on Ilkley Moor, starring Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette, follows the story of two lifelong friends and the struggles they face when one attempts to starts a family while the other falls terminally ill. There are also includes screenings of El Ingles, a documentary by Bradford-born director James Slater about his father, and The First Film, about Leeds-born director David Nicholas Wilkinson’s 33 year quest to prove that the film industry began in his home city of Leeds. And Hull-born Tom Courtenay stars alongside Charlotte Rampling in 45 Years, about a couple celebrating their wedding anniversary against life-changing news.

Documentaries include Brand: A Second Coming, about Russell Brand’s career from precocious child to controversial comedian with a foot in politics; Davis Guggenheim’s soft-focus documentary He Named Me Malala; and Amy featuring unseen footage of the late Amy Winehouse. Critically acclaimed Star Men follows four retired English astronomers on a road-trip reunion in south-west America, allowing Ilkley audiences to 'explore the galaxy' from the smallest single screen independent cinema in Europe.

Afocus on family films delivers the new Peanuts movie, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip and a rare screening of The Water Babies, filmed near Ilkley’s Denton Hall, which tells the story of a 12-year-old boy entering a complex underwater world.

Festival Director, Martin Pilkington said: “Ilkley has a wonderful range of venues for the festival and the new cinema makes a brilliant addition which is ideal for some of the indie previews we have lined up.

"The Ilkley audience is always keen to experiment with different films which is why we’ve really tried to bring as many different experiences to the programme as possible. We have more documentaries this year and exclusive previews and, following the amazing reception we’ve had in previous years to live scoring of films, I’m particularly looking forward to presenting The Bays’ accompaniment to Run Lola Run.”

* Ilkley Film Festival runs from February 17 - 21. For tickets call (01943) 602319 or