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:
Runners up: DOLORES (Germany), BACK TO BURGUNDY (France)
Audience Award for Best New Release Film:
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)
Recent Film Festivals:
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