FESTIVAL REVIEW Attendances soared for the 26th Chichester International Film Festival at five venues in the city from 10 – 27 August based at Chichester Cinema at New Park. Roger Gibson, artistic director, comments: ‘With the fall in UK cinema admissions this summer, it is heartening to announce that CIFF has bucked the trend with a 10% increase from last year's festival with almost 7000 admissions over the 20 days.’ He continues: ‘We were delighted to have one of only two national screenings of The Square, the 2017 Palme D’Or winning film prior to its withdrawal for editing and distribution in March 2018.’ Film Awards, announced by Gibson on 27 August before the screening of France’s heart-warming Back to Burgundy, the festival’s Gala Closing film, included Belgium’s Insyriated, a Syrian-set war drama winning the Premiere-Preview top spot, the UK Premiere, Dolores, a psychological thriller from Germany, attended by director Michael Rösel, taking second place. Maudie, starring Sally Hawkins, took the prize in the New Releases category, the Danish Land of Mine, the powerful, deeply emotionally resonant post-war drama, coming second. An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, Al Gore’s follow-up to his climate-change film a decade ago won the Documentary category, Phil Grabsky’s David Hockney at the Royal Academy of Arts, taking second place. The Low Budget Indie section was won by The Shepherd, a compelling drama of changing Spain. Stephen Cookson’s dazzling Stanley: Man of Variety starring Timothy Spall playing no less than seventeen characters including Max Wall and Margaret Rutherford, came second. Broken Hearts Club the Low Budget Documentary winner, tells the story of four Ethiopian kids with heart defects arriving in Israel. 150 films from over 30 countries including those from South Africa, Poland, USA, UK, Italy and France, were screened at the festival including 40 premieres and previews. Retrospectives – Tilda Swinton, John Hurt – joined documentary film maker Mick Csἀky’s remarkable output over 40 years, Csἀky introducing ten including Himalaya and Placido Domingo: A Musical Life. Hotel Salvation, the Indian comedy, was chosen as the Opening Gala Film. Walter Francisco, Chichester Cinema at New Park’s manager who oversees the festival at five venues comments: ‘Our enthusiastic thanks go to audiences who came in their droves from even further afield this year including visitors from Europe, our high-quality red new seating getting the thumbs up, our thanks also to the invaluable volunteers and not least our sponsors, University of Chichester, Greenwood and the British Film Institute. What a year to remember!’ Over 20 directors, actors, producers and film experts attended the festival for intros and Q&As; as well as musicians’ events including live music for silent films and jazz events.
Audience Award for Best Feature Film:
INSYRIATED (Belgium) Runners up: DOLORES (Germany), BACK TO BURGUNDY (France)
Audience Award for Best New Release Film:
MAUDIE (Canada/Ireland) Runners up: LAND OF MINE (Denmake/Germany), THE RED TURTLE (France/Belgium/Japan)
Audience Award for Best Documentary:
AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL (USA) Runners up: DAVID HOCKNEY AT THE ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS (UK), WILLIAMS (UK)
Audience Award for Best Low Budget Feature Film:
THE SHEPHERD (Spain) Runners up: STANLEY: MAN OF VARIETY (UK), THE TELL TALE HEART (UK)
Audience Award for Best Low Budget Documentary:
BROKEN HEARTS CLUB (Israel) Runners up: BREAKING POINT (USA), A MINDFUL CHOICE (UK)
The new release, The Carer, starring the magnificent Brian Cox as an ageing acting legend, brought the 25th Chichester International Film Festival to a close on August 28, the Anglo-Hungarian film introduced by co-writer/associate producer Tom Kinninmont (After Alice). Kinninmont was one of the 37 festival guests during the 18-day festival alongside directors Jim Gillespie (Take Down); Simon Dixon (Tiger Raid); Capsule (Andrew Martin); Tony Palmer (The Beatles and WWII); Kevin Short (Speed Love), accompanied by actor Elaine Paige; Tony Britten (Chick Lit) with lead actor Christian McKay; producers Alistair Audsley (Leni Leni); Paramita Banerjee (Bridge); composer Carl Davis and other talent.
The 25th Film Festival, with a remarkable rise in attendances following on last year’s dramatic increase, welcomed 6,300 to 155 films and 180 performances screened including 50+ premieres, previews, new releases as well as two open air screenings (Finding Dory, Calamity Jane) and, a first for West Sussex, a Drive-In (Casablanca) with large attendances.
Roger Gibson, artistic director commented: "I was overwhelmed and delighted by so many positive comments to our 25th Festival. Considering there was risk taking in presenting a programme that included such diversity as Iranian and Chinese Cinema alongside a major Tarkovsky seven-film tribute and partnership with the Institut Français with outstanding unreleased, new French films, it was most gratifying that this has been our most successful Festival to date, confirming our largest on the South Coast status. My thanks go headline sponsors University of Chichester, The British Film Institute and other supporters."
Other film genres programmed joined European, American, World, twenty Low-Budget UK premieres - a new initiative - alongside archive and silent films, plus jazz, both live and on film; an Alan Rickman Retrospective and an homage to Ingrid Bergman. These joined the Animation category with four features and a programme of eleven shorts. Seven past Audience Awards films reflected some of the past 25 years’ winners.
Audience Award for Best Feature Film:
PATHS OF THE SOUL (China, Z. Yang)
Runners up: Memories (France, JP Rouve), The Carer (UK/Hungary, J. Edelenyi)
Audience Award for Best Independent Low-Budget Film:
BRIDGE (UK, Amit Ranjan Biswas)
Runners up: Speed Love (UK World Premiere, Kevin Short); Journey to the Mother (Russia)
Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature Film:
TUBBY: A MAN IN A HURRY (UK, Lee Cogswell)
Runners up: The Killing$ of Tony Blair (UK, George Galloway), The Beatles and WWII (UK, Tony Palmer)
Audience Award for Best Animation:
MURDEROUS TALES (Czech Rep. J. Bubenicek))
Runners up: The Magic Train China, J. Chang), Reveries of a Solitary Walker (Italy, P. Gaudio))
The festival opened with a special preview of Pedro Almodȯvar’s Julieta. Other films high on the voting list included Captain Fantastic ((USA), Poland’s Carte Blanche, SK1 (France), The Clan (Argentina); Shoes (Iran); Capsule (UK) and Around China with a Movie Camera (UK BFI Archive) all UK Premieres, Previews or New Releases. Woody Allen’s latest, Café Society, this year’s Preview Surprise Film on August 25, is not released in the UK until September 2.
This year’s festival had a strong emphasis on music including live organ played by Ben Hall for FW Murnau’s Classic 1926 film, Faust, at St. John’s Chapel, Chichester and Carl Davis, score composer for Chaplin, Lloyd & Keaton, Three Geniuses of Silent Cinema who introduced his and their work.
Walter Francisco, the cinema’s general manager, also expressed delight at the festival’s outcome. ‘The festival demonstrates that, with quality films, Q & As, talks and other events, the festival appeals to an increasing number of people from even further afield.’ He thanked headline sponsor Chichester University and other sponsors for their support and ‘the seventy volunteers who usher and help in the bar and behind the scenes as well as the projectionists, the terrific box office, the New Park Centre’s teams and Dan Bullock of Real Burger Company for the exemplary catering.
‘We were also very happy to have the Roundhill Picture Palace, the 13-seater cinema at the entrance to the cinema, continues to be a real talking point as well as a further venue, a great asset to the film festival. Our thanks too go to St. John’s Chapel, Chichester Cathedral and Priory Park Fenwick’s Café.’
2015 Festival Details
CHICHESTER FILM FESTIVAL CLOSES WITH A VISIT FROM RALPH FIENNES, AND 'TANGERINES' WINNING THE AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST FILM.
The UK Premiere of TWO WOMEN brought the Chichester International Film Festival to a close on August 30, the Russian film introduced by Ralph Fiennes (above), its star, director Vera Glagoleva and producer Natalia Ivanova. The actor was one of the festival guests during the 18 day festival alongside John Lithgow, actor, composer Carl Davis and directors Martha Fiennes, Robert Mullan, Thomas Hamilton, Joseph Bull, Matthew Butler and producers David Kelly, Michael Robinson, Tim McCready and Marion Matachana. The 24th Film Festival, with a remarkable rise in attendances following on last year’s 26% increase, welcomed just short of 6,000 to 120 films and 178 performances screened during the 18 day festival including 50+ premieres, previews and new releases as well as two open air screenings with large attendances.
Roger Gibson with Ralph Fiennes at the Festival
Roger Gibson, artistic director commented: "I was overwhelmed and delighted by so many positive comments to our 24th Festival. Considering there was risk taking in presenting a programme that included Russian, Czech and Polish cinema and live musical events supporting some films, it was most gratifying that this has been our most successful Festival to date, and the largest on the South Coast. Here’s to the 25th next year with our headline sponsors University of Chichester for which many thanks."
Best Feature Film
1st: TANGERINES (Estonia/Georgia - Zaza Urushadze)
2nd: MARSHLAND (Spain - Alberto Rodriguez)
3rd: THE LEGEND OF BARNEY THOMSON (UK - Robert Carlyle)
Audience Award Winner for Best Film
1st: TASTING MY FUTURE (UK- Sylvie Collier)
2nd: LESLIE HOWARD: THE MAN WHO GAVE A DAMN (UK - Thomas Hamilton)
3rd: FABERGE: A LIFE OF ITS OWN (UK/USA - Patrick Mark)
1st: WE WILL SING (Lithuania/UK - Robert Mullan)
2nd: TWO DOWN (UK - Matthew Butler)
3rd: SUMMER (Netherlands - Colette Bothof)
The festival opened with a preview of 45 YEARS, critics lauding Charlotte Rampling’s and Tom Courtenay’s performances. Other films high on the voting list included the Spanish thriller MARSHLAND, Robert Carlyle’s THE LEGEND OF BARNEY THOMSON, USA’s ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL, GYPSY (Czech Republic), THE PRESIDENT (Georgia), LESLIE HOWARD: The Man who gave a Damn (Thomas Hamilton, director, Documentary), all either UK Premieres, Previews or New Releases. Woody Allen’s latest, IRRATIONAL MAN, was this year’s Preview Surprise Film on 30 August, is not released in the UK until September 11.
Walter Francisco, the cinema’s general manager, also expressed delight at the high numbers. ‘The festival demonstrates that, with quality films, Q & As, talks and other events over 18 days, the festival appeals to an increasing number of people from even further afield.’ He thanked the British Film Institute, Europa Films and headline sponsor Chichester University for their support and ‘the seventy volunteers who usher and help in the bar and behind the scenes as well as the projectionists, the terrific box office and the New Park Centre’s teams.’
John Lithgow at the Festival
‘We were also very happy to have the Roundhill Picture Palace, the 13-seater cinema at the entrance to the cinema which continues to be a real talking point as well as a further venue, a great asset to the film festival.’
************************** 2014 Film Festival: Click here to see 2014 Festival details.
SURPRISE FILM 'PRIDE' GETS AUDIENCE AWARD AT THE 2014 CHICHESTER FILM FESTIVAL
The 23rd Chichester International Film Festival, with a remarkable 26% rise in attendances, closed on 31 August with Woody Allen’s delightful Preview of Magic in the Moonlight starring Colin Firth. Allen’s latest gem was one of 120 films shown during the 18 day festival and one of the 50+ premieres, previews and new releases including Pride, the Festival's Surprise Film with Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton, which won the Audience Award and not on release until September 14, the Allen film released on the 19th in the UK.
The Documentary Award, voted by the audience, went to the UK Premiere, Lauda: 33 Days Born to be Bad by Austrian director Hannes Schalle on the legendary Formula 1 racing driver Niki Lauda. Hollywood A-lister Daniel Brühl attended the Q & A on Saturday, 23 August after this winning film and a screening of Rush in which he portrayed Lauda. The festival opened with Night Train to Lisbon starring Jeremy Irons. Second favourite Audience film, Violette is back at the cinema in the Autumn Programme as is Denmark’s The Keeper of Lost Causes, the third film with the most audience votes and which returns on 19 Sept.
Roger Gibson, the festival’s artistic director commented at the closing gala: ‘I am delighted to say this was the best year ever for the biggest film festival on the South Coast.’ He admitted to taking a gamble with many East Meets West films from Eastern Europe to the capacity audience which paid off in attendance numbers as well as the high audience-voting scoring for Halima’s Path, from Croatia and Ida, a Polish success, the latter making a return in October.
Walter Francisco, the cinema’s general manager, also expressed delight at the high numbers. ‘Last year we reached 4,700 which we were thrilled about, but this year, with 5,510, this demonstrates that, with quality films, Q & As, talks and other events over 18 days, the festival appeals to an increasing number of people from even further afield.’ He thanked the British Film Institute, Europa Films, much appreciated local sponsors Papa Johns and Chichester University for their support, ‘the seventy volunteers who usher and help in the bar and behind the scenes as well as the terrific box office team.’
‘We were also very happy to have had the Roundhill Picture Palace, the 13-seater cinema parked outside the cinema which was a real talking point as well as a further venue, a great asset to the 23rd festival.’
AUDIENCE AWARD RESULTS
AUDIENCE AWARD For BEST FILM
3: THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES
4: A MOST WATED MAN
AUDIENCE AWARD For BEST DOCUMENTARY
1: LAUDA - 33 DAYS: BORN TO BE BAD
2: THE MOO MAN
3: DAVID JONES
4: THE WATCHMAKER'S APPRENTICE
AUDIENCE AWARD For BEST EAST-EUROPEAN FILM
1: HALIMA'S PATH
4: THE DON JUANS