Cambridge Film Festival unveils full programme


The Cambridge Film Festival, the UK’s third longest-running film festival returns for its 34th edition, 28th August – 7th September 2014 at the Arts Picturehouse and other venues across Cambridge. One of the UK’s most prestigious and well-respected film festivals, with a growing international reputation, the Cambridge Film Festival is operated by the charitable Cambridge Film Trust and funded by BFI Film Forever.


Known for its diverse programme of films and special events, the Festival opens with THE KIDNAPPING OF MICHEL HOUELLEBECQ, Guillaume Nicloux’s wildly funny film. When best-selling and famously reclusive French novelist Michel Houellebecq disappeared during a book tour in 2011, the rumours of his whereabouts led to endless speculation, including a kidnapping. Partly based on real events and starring the controversial, award-winning novelist as himself, playfully blurring the line between fiction and documentary.  Guilaume Nicloux will present his highly entertaining film at the Festival.


The Festival is thrilled to have a number of special guests attending the Festival including writer/director Rowan Joffe and novelist SJ Watson who will present BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP, an amnesiac thriller starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong. Skip Kite will present his timely tribute to a true national treasure, TONY BENN: WILL AND TESTAMENT. The film, a touching, frank and deeply personal portrait of the respected statesman and anti-war campaigner who passed away in March, features intimate interviews with Benn himself, sharing his hopes, dreams and fears for the next generation.

Enfant terrible, maverick, historian and polymath, alumnus of Trinity College Cambridge, Andrew Sinclair brought together Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole to deliver UNDER MILK WOOD (1972). The film will be screened digitally to mark the Dylan Thomas centenary year, as well as screenings of Sinclair’s DYLAN ON DYLAN and Andy Goddard’s SET FIRE TO THE STARS starring Elijah Wood, depicting Thomas’s first American tour in 1950.


2014 Jarman Award shortlisted filmmakers Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s 20,000 DAYS ON EARTH won Best Director and Best Editor prizes at Sundance for their fictional day in the life of Bad Seeds frontman Nick Cave, featuring appearances by Kylie Minogue, Ray Winstone and Cave’s bandmate Warren Ellis. Sylvian Chomet (BELLEVILLE RENDEZVOUS)’s first live action feature, ATTILA MARCEL about Paul, a lifelong mute and piano prodigy delivers a narrative full of wry humanism, musical interludes and modern farce. Pawel Pawlikowski’s multi-award winning IDA, a poetic, almost Bressonian exploration of the limits of faith is exquisitely composed and shot in luminescent black and white. SXSW and Edinburgh International Film Festival hit, I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS, is first-time feature filmmaker Leah Meyerhoff’s affecting and sensitively observed coming-of-age tale about a fantasy-prone teen. Kelly Reichardt’s NIGHT MOVES is a taut paranoia thriller about radical environmentalists starring, Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard. David Cronenberg paints a pitch black constellation in MAPS TO THE STARS, where characters chase celebrity, each other and the ghosts of their pasts in Hollywood. The film’s A-list cast is led by Julianne Moore, who won Best Actress at Cannes for her performance. Marking one of his final roles, the late Philip Seymour Hoffman stars in Anton Corbijn’s A MOST WANTED MAN, a big screen adaptation of John Le Carre’s spy thriller. Director Hans Petter Moland’s reunites with his favoured star Stellan Skarsgard for IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE, a darkly comic revenge drama of a father avenging the murder of his son.


The Cambridge Family Film Festival returns with a much-loved mixture of favourite film and television characters old and new, presented in a family-friendly environment, at an affordable price. Broad themes ‘Superheroes’ incudes a Sing–a-long-a FROZEN special and screenings plus ‘Slapstick’ presents School of Slapstick film-making workshops, encouraging young audiences to come along and create, shoot and star in their own short silent comedy film as well as classic screenings. NOT SO SILENT MOVIES, returns for a programme of classic silent comedy shorts presented by film musician and writer Neil Brand. Plus a special screening of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (2005) celebrates the 50th anniversary of the publication of the Roald Dahl classic.


The Festival presents another exciting selection of contemporary films, celebrating the best of established and emerging German filmmakers, with the support of the Goethe-Institut London and German Films. The programme includes STATIONS OF THE CROSS, Dietrich Brüggemann’s story of religion, devotion and radical faith Berlin, which won the Silver Bear for Best Script at this year’s Berlinale. Edgar Reitz received rave reviews after presenting HOME FROM HOME in Venice last year. The film, a prequel to his famous HEIMAT series, jumps back 100 years to look at the Simons family of the 18th Century. Both Jakob Lass (LOVE STEAKS) and Jan Ole Gerster (OH BOY) bring new voices with very a-typical narratives that caused a stir at the German box office and internationally. Philip Gröning returns with, THE POLICEMAN’S WIFE, an epic narrative on domestic abuse and poetic mediation on the potential for darkness that lurks in our hearts. Long-time Festival friend Monika Treut will present her latest film, the beautifully tranquil coming-of-age story, OF GIRLS AND HORSES.


On the occasion of the Deutsche Kinemathek’s 50th anniversary, Cambridge shines the spotlight on the early silent films of Gerhard Lamprecht, the Kinemathek’s founder with digital restorations and new scores for IN THE SLUMS OF BERLIN (1925), CHILDREN OF NO IMPORTANCE (1926), PEOPLE TO EACH OTHER (1926), and UNDER THE LANTERN (1928). These films take viewers into the underbelly of Berlin’s ‘Golden Twenties’, telling tales of everyday life and people on the margins of society in a sizzling, rapidly growing metropolis.


Building on a successful two years of celebrating the best of Catalan Cinema, the Festival returns with a third programme of films showcasing the extraordinary and diverse talent developing in this nation within Spain as it argues for full independence. Leading the way is Sergio Caballero’s comically surreal, and utterly cinematic fantasy, THE DISTANCE, in an alternate future/universe where people communicate via telepathy and possess telekinetic powers. Citing the 2011 closing of Catalan institution El Bulli as his inspiration, Roger Gual’s romantic comedy TASTING MENU tells the stories of a group of diners enjoying a final meal in one of the world’s best restaurants. Other titles include upcoming filmmakers Hammudi Al-Rahmoun Font (OTHELLO), Jesus Monllao (SON OF CAIN) plus the award-winning second feature from director Mar Coll, WE ALL WANT WHAT’S BEST FOR HER.


Continuing on the success of last year’s collaboration with Eye on Films, an exciting initiative to promote the work of emerging talent, this year’s programme includes Tamar Van Den Dop’s Berlinale Generation contender, SUPERNOVA, which will be released by new film discovery VOD platform FilmDoo, and theatrically through Matchbox Films, in partnership with the Festival.  Çağla Zencirci and Guillaume Giovanetti’s first feature NOOR, a docudrama about a teenage runaway taken under the wing of Pakistan’s transgender community, was well received at last year’s festival, they will present their follow up, NINGEN, stemming from a Japanese fairytale at this year’s Festival.


A strong documentary strand includes the extraordinary THE CASE AGAINST 8, a behind-the-scenes inside look into the high profile case to overrun California’s controversial ban on same-sex marriage, Alex Gibney’s documentary FINDING FELA about the life and work of Nigerian musical legend Fela Kuti, Jesse Moss’s Sundance prize winner THE OVERNIGHTERS, a provocative modern-day ‘love thy neighbour’ parable in North Dakota’s oil fields which won the Sundance Jury Prize and WATERMARK from multiple-award winning filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nick de Pencier, and renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky (MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPE), who bring together diverse stories from around the globe about our relationship with water. 30 years on from the Miner’s Strike, STILL THE ENEMY WITHIN gives a unique insight by those who lived through it. The life and work of pioneering erotic filmmaker Peter De Rome, who passed away recently is celebrated in PETER DE ROME GRANDFATHER OF GAY PORN. Maverick independent American documentarian Lionel Rogosin who pioneered political cinema, non-fiction partisan filmmaking and docu-fiction is the focus of a mini retrospective.


CFF will present a series of retro 3D classic titles CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954) THE MAD MAGICIAN (1954) and HOUSE OF WAX (1953) and will celebrate the comic genius of Peter Sellers with three long-lost short films, the ‘Hector Dimwittie Trilogy’, more than half a century after they were made, DEARTH OF A SALESMAN, INSOMNIA IS GOOD FOR YOU and COLD COMFORT (1957). Championing independent cinema, Scalarama’s annual celebration returns with a special presentation of Jorg Buttgereit’s audacious cult horror NEKROMANTIC (1987). Plus restored prints of Childrens Film Foundation classics, THE BOY WHO TURNED YELLOW (1972) (Powell and Pressburger’s last film) and Harley Cokeliss’s THE GLITTERBALL (1977) return to the big screen.


The Short Fusion shorts programme returns with an impressive selection of shorts including CHARLIE SAYS by Lewis Arnold, starring Conner Chapman in the film that convinced Clio Barnard to cast Conner in THE SELFISH GIANT and Toby Froud (the baby from LABYRINTH)’s LESSONS LEARNED, a puppet animation short made in association with Heather Henson.


Known for its innovative use of Cambridge’s attractive locations, the 2014 Festival edition is bookended by exciting outdoor events at Grantchester Meadows (23-24 August), pool-side screenings at Jesus Green Lido (14 September) and a special 3 day weekend event at Bletchley Park (19-21 September) – including special screenings from the BFI’s blockbuster Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder season, celebrating the very best of science fiction in film and TV.

The ever-popular Grantchester Meadows outdoor cinema weekend presents a programme of films for all ages, on the banks of the River Cam. Presented by the Cambridge Film Trust in association with Independent Cinema Milton Keynes, Station X at Bletchley Park is a curated season of immersive screenings and themed workshops exploring science fiction war narratives, totalitarian dystopias and the fear of the power of science set against the historic backdrop of the world-class heritage site.

Cambridge Film Festival is also proud to announce an exciting new partnership with MUBI, the online cinema and will be the online extension of the Festival, screening a selection of films that bring the festival magic to the rest of the UK.

CFF 2014’s Closing Night Gala to be announced separately.

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