Cambridge Film Festival


The 33rd Cambridge Film Festival (presented by the Cambridge Film Trust) returns to the city 19th– 29th September with a cosmic programme of world and UK premieres, special previews and events, launching with a suitably starry Opening Night Gala of HAWKING, a remarkable film about the life and work of a remarkable man; theoretical physicist, cosmologist, best-selling author (A Brief History of Time), and Cambridge resident Stephen Hawking, presented in person by Professor Hawking.

First established in 1977, the Cambridge Film Festival has been committed to delivering high quality independent films to the widest possible audience, taking pride in the city’s thriving film culture. Bold and imaginative in its presentation of films, the Festival embraces the latest technology, while also showcasing its passion for the heritage of cinema, championing new methods of filmmaking and emerging platforms of distribution. The festival supports filmmakers from all across the world – including first timers and seasoned auteurs as well as locally, providing a platform for new talents to showcase their work.

Year after year the festival has rapidly expanded into a major UK event with a reputation that extends internationally renowned for its diversity of films and events and use of its attractive locations, as well as its proximity to London. Cambridge itself is a special and unique city, with amazing spaces that are just crying out to be used and enjoyed creatively.

Cambridge Film Festival is known for its innovative outdoor cinema programme, including the ever popular Grantchester Meadows by the river, the rooftop screening at the Varsity Hotel and the Jesus Green Lido. The Festival will light up the city’s skyline with an exciting preview season of ‘Summer of Cinema’ outdoor screenings throughout July and August. New venue additions for 2013 include the historic Jockey Club Rooms in Newmarket and Childerley Hall in West Cambridgeshire. The outdoor cinema programme starts on 6th July with a free film programme at the pop-up Cinema tent on Parker’s Piece at the Big Weekend (presented by Cambridge City Council). Full programme details for the ‘Summer of Cinema’ season now available on

The Cambridge Film Festival programme blasts off on 19th September with the Opening Night Gala of HAWKING. The extraordinary story of the planet’s most famous living scientist, told for the first time in his own words and by those closest to him, HAWKING has been made with unique access to Stephen Hawking’s private life. An intimate and moving journey into Stephen’s world, both past and present the film is an inspirational portrait of an iconic figure, Hawking relates his incredible personal journey from boyhood underachiever, to Ph.D. genius, to being diagnosed with Motor Neurone disease and given just two years to live. Despite the constant threat of death, he has continued to make amazing scientific discoveries and rises to fame and superstardom.

Cambridge Film Festival is especially honoured that Professor Stephen Hawking will be presenting the Opening Night Gala of his film in the city which has been so intrinsic to his work and career.

Other Festival highlights include a Young American Cinema programme, showcasing the diverse and innovative new filmmakers who have emerged in the USA in the last few years, using alternative resources and imagination to get films made with smaller budgets. It seems that through the financial crises and the predominantly inaccessible mainstream studios, a growing number of young filmmakers are creating increasingly noteworthy work with individual, artistic voices. Films include the UK premiere of Matt Porterfield’s I USED TO BE DARKER and ONLY THE YOUNG by Elizabeth Mims and Jason Tippet.

The Festival also celebrates the work of German visionary cult director Roland Klick with a retrospective programme in collaboration with Goethe-Institut. Widely regarded as the great white hope of German Cinema in the 70s, with invitations to Cannes, Roland Klick should have had a brilliant career. But too imaginative and unconventional for the cinema of that time, 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. Yet, Klick still had an international following and has enjoyed the respect of fellow filmmakers including Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino and Alejando Jodorowsky for his command of genre and his boldness.

With 7 timeless films to his name and his slogan “film and audience = cinema”, Roland Klick is a director whose body of work defies all categories. It hard to belief that such landmark classics as the acid-existentialist desert-endgame DEADLOCK (1970), the socially engaged action film SUPERMARKET (1973), Germany’s answer to REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, and the self-destructive punk-elegy WHITE STAR (1983) (starring a substance-enhanced Dennis Hopper in one of his most intense, unadulterated performances) were produced in Germany at that time. Klick’s work has rarely been shown in the UK. His dystopian punk rock odysseys, psychedelic westerns and youth-oriented crime dramas are ripe for rediscovery.

The Cambridge Film Festival will be screening Klicks’s three most important features, as above, and all of his shorts. In addition the Festival will have the UK premiere of Sandra Pretchel’s illuminating documentary; ROLAND KLICK -THE HEART IS A HUNGRY HUNTER, with excerpts from his films and contributions from contemporaries such as Eva Mattes, Otto Sander and Hark Bohm as well as from Roland Klick himself.

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