THE legacy of Westerns and women in cinema are among the topics being discussed at this year’s Widescreen Weekend, held in the city centre.

The 22nd annual festival will take place at the National Science and Media Museum in October, and will feature screening of rarely seen widescreen films.

Regular guest curator, film historian and author Sir Christopher Frayling, will be hand-picking a selection of Westerns for the festival, covering modern-day, vintage and the occasional left-field classic.

Highlights include a three-strip Cinerama screening of How the West Was Won (1962) featuring a cast of Hollywood legends including Henry Fonda, James Stewart and Debbie Reynolds.

It will be shown in the museum’s Pictureville cinema - the only public Cinerama auditorium operating outside the USA. Also being screened in the Western strand is Forty Guns (1957) starring Barbara Stanwyck.

Forty Guns is one of the screenings in which the festival takes a closer look at women in widescreen, both in terms of notable female characters on screen, and women working behind the camera. Guest speakers include broadcaster and journalist Samira Ahmed, and Carin-Anne Strohmaier, VFX and assistant editor on Hollywood hits including the Back to the Future and Indiana Jones series, and the Oscar-winning Forrest Gump.

Cult classics and family films will take centre stage during Celluloid Saturday, which was added at last year’s event and brings an eclectic mix of movies to showcase the qualities of non-digital screenings to audiences of all ages.

Festival Director Kathryn Penny said: “We are already looking at one of the strongest Widescreen Weekend programmes I can remember, and I can’t wait to reveal the full details later this year. Avowed Western fans Christopher Frayling and Samira Ahmed will be here to introduce classics from one of cinema’s defining genres, and we will also be looking at the roles of women in the industry, both on screen and behind the scenes. There will be something for film fans of all ages during Celluloid Saturday, and throughout the festival we’ll be celebrating cinema’s continual innovation and ingenuity in immersive storytelling, technology and spectacle.”

The festival will also feature a rare screening of one of the few surviving 70mm film copies of Mutiny on the Bounty (1962). Despite the film stock having lost much of its colour it was voted ‘most-wanted’ film in a poll at the 2017 event, and will be screened this year.

The Student Widescreen Film of the Year returns to recognise new talent in widescreen filmmaking. The competition for ‘Best British’ and ‘Best International’ student widescreen film is open, and winners will be unveiled during the festival. Submissions can be made at, before August 3.

Passes for the festival, which rund from October 11 to 14, are available from May 23 at