The 33rd Cambridge Film Festival, presented by the Cambridge Film Trust and funded by BFI Film Forever, returns to the city this week (19 – 29 September) with its largest programme to date with 150 titles including a great many UK and international premieres from 40 countries worldwide. The global focus of the 2013 edition is reflected by the broad scope of guests attending the festival including directors, writers, producers, stars, musicians and scientists from across the world.
As previously announced, Professor Stephen Hawking will be attending the Opening Night Gala of the remarkable film about his life story, alongside HAWKING director Stephen Finnigan and other guests tbc (19 September). Director Mark Levinson will be attending the screening of PARTICLE FEVER, his documentary that tells the story of how the Large Hadron Collider came to be made and how it may hold the secret to our very existence (20 September). LEBANESE ROCKET SOCIETY tells the story of the Lebanese space programme undertaken by a small enclave of budding scientists in Beirut against the backdrop of the 1960s space race raging between the USA and USSR. Professor Manoug Manougian and his students grabbed the attention of the military and their operation became a national concern until the Arab-Israeli war cut the programme short. A truly inspiring, quirky tale of starry-eyed ambition, the Festival are delighted to welcome Professor Manoug Manougian to Cambridge (20 September).
Pop-star Thomas Dolby comes to Cambridge to present THE INVISIBLE LIGHTHOUSE – part film, part live performance the film is his homage to the defunct beacon at the Orford Ness Lighthouse off the Suffolk coast – and an engaging and layered deeply personal work of art, storytelling, and memory (25 September). ROCK AND ROLL’S GREATEST FAILURE tells the story of punk musician John Otway who briefly took the UK punk scene by storm in 1977 with Really Free. But what seemed like the first hit of a promising musical career turned out to be his only chart success for 25 years, until a wily and well-coordinated guerrilla marketing campaign got 2002 single Bunsen Burner into the top 10 as a 50th birthday present by his loyal fan base. John Otway will also be performing before the screening (23 September). Award-winning director Jack Bond will coming to Cambridge to present histribute to musical icon Adam Ant, THE BLUEBACK HUSSAR is a revealing window into Adam Ant’s world – the result of over a year spent with the singer charting his much vaunted return to the music scene, older and wiser but just as flamboyant and charismatic (24 September). Saint Etienne’s Bob Stanley will be introducing a special screening of ELVIS the movie, to promote the release of his latest book, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop published by Faber this October. Bob will also be DJing in the Picturehouse bar before the screening and will be signing advance copies of the book, a chronological story of modern pop covering the birth of rock, soul, punk, disco, hip hop, indie, house and techno (26 September).
As previously announced, Cult German director Roland Klick will be attending the Festival for the comprehensive showcase of the legendary director’s work in association with the Goethe-Institut London and Filmgalerie 451. Marginalized by the critical establishment – although his films won several federal film awards – he did not join the ranks nor shared the success of the New German Cinema directors of the 1970s. Yet, Klick still had an international following and has enjoyed the respect of fellow filmmakers including Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino and Alejandro Jodorowsky. Roland Klick will be presenting a screening of his full length, original cut of WHITE STAR, set in Berlin starring a drug-enhanced Dennis Hopper (25 September). Attending guests in the German Contemporary Cinema strand include Barbara Sukowa (actress, HANNAH ARENDT – 21 September), Ramon Zürcher (director, STRANGE LITTLE CAT – 23 September) and Stephanie Stremler (actress, DUST ON OUR HEARTS – 23 September). In a special collaboration, Birds Eye View will present a panel discussion hosted by BEV programme manager Elhum Shakerifar alongside a screening of SHADOWING A FILMMAKER (26 September). Polish filmmaker Marcin Malaszczak’s (director, SIENIAWKA – 26 September) and Estonian actor Raivo E Tamm (actor, MUSHROOMING – 20 September) will be representing the Eastern View strand.
Lucy Walker’s THE CRASH REEL follows the story of professional snowboarder Kevin Pearce who suffered a horrific accident in training in 2010 but despite a lengthy rehabilitation process and long term brain damage, he was insistent that he would return to the sport. Immersing herself into snowboarding culture and Pearce’s close-knit family group, Lucy Walker will introduce her incisive insight into the world of extreme sports (20 September)
Director Kim Hopkins, producer Simon Beaufoy, and Helen Heraty will present FOLIE A DEUX – A MADNESS MADE OF TWO, an intimate portrait of Helen’s crusade to restore Gray’s Court in York, the oldest house in England, against the financial ups and downs of the banking crisis (20 September). Artist Matt Hulse’s film mixes narrative and documentary elements to tell the incredible tale of DUMMY JIM, the maverick deaf cyclist James Duthie, who attempted to cycle from Scotland to Morocco – in a journey which took him to the Arctic Circle (21 September). As part of the Eccentric Britain programme, curators James McKay and Will Fowler will be introducing Antony Balch’s HORROR HOSPITAL and John Pearse will introduce his ‘requiem for the Kings Road’ and Swinging London THE MOVIEMAKERS (26 & 28 September).
Director Shan Khan, producer Nisha Parti and lead actress Aiysha Hart will present HONOUR, Khan’s gritty and engrossing debut, a tense and intelligent thriller that plays on the distressingly relevant topic of honour killings in the British Asian community (27 September). Director Gareth Jones presents the 2nd film in his trilogy, DELIGHT, starring Jeanne Balibar (Va Savoir) in her first leading role in a British film tells the story of a female war photographer who comes to terms with her buried trauma through a relationship with the son of a former lover and comrade-in-arms. The festival closes on 29th September with Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald for his latest film HOW I LIVE NOW, an intelligent Orwellian vision of a post-apocalyptic future and a young girl’s fight for survival starring Saoirse Ronan.