Dubbed ‘the wild side of British film’ by Metro, the Portobello Film Festival has been a fixture in the UK cinematic calendar since it debuted in 1996 and remains one of the country’s foremost showcases for emerging independent filmmakers. The festival’s stated aim has always been to give daring leftfield filmmakers a platform and as such hasn’t always enjoyed an easy ride. Nonetheless, even when cinema screens have been hard to come by the festival has come up with a variety of innovative solutions – often utilising pubs, clubs and parks -and remains in rude health. This year’s festival hits Notting Hill on the 4th September for 16 days of exciting and adventurous independent cinema, all of which is absolutely free. The festival’s main venue will be a pop-up cinema under the Westway on Acklam Road and a full programme can be viewed on the Portobello Film Festival website.
Recent years have seen the phenomenon of open-air cinema take off across the UK and Luna Cinema has been at the forefront of a burgeoning trend that looks set to take 2015 by storm. Watching a film with a roof over your head is so last year. Luna Cinema is the country’s leading producer of open-air cinema events, having won a reputation for laying on some seriously special settings for their al fresco film nights in recent years. This summer Luna Cinema is set to up the ante by offering an especially impressive programme of screenings across London. Venues include some of the capitals most picturesque and noteworthy sites, including Regent’s Park, Alexandra Palace, Kensington Palace, Kew Gardens and Crystal Palace Park. But some of this summer’s hottest tickets will for a series of screenings at One New Change, where film buffs are granted a chance to enjoy a selection of cult classics complete with St Paul’s Cathedral making a welcome cameo appearance as a stunning backdrop. These exclusive screenings will take place at the Madison Rooftop Bar and Restaurant and come complete with a 3-course moviegoers menu that’s guaranteed to beat a bucket of popcorn. First up is last year’s Oscar winning black comedy Birdman on 26th July.
The Dublin Greek Film Festival is an opportunity to experience Greek culture through a variety of films and events and discover links between Ireland and Greece. The festival will showcase the latest films by internationally established directors as well as emerging filmmakers, and will present features, short films and documentaries along with special events, such as a Greek dance workshop, in some of the top cultural venues of Dublin. Included in the line up is The Eternal Return of Antonis Paraskevas – a film by Elina Psikou and the highly anticipated Xenia, a film by: Panos H. Koutras and starring: Patty Pravo, Kostas Nikouli, Nikos Gelia, Yannis Stankoglou. As well as the exciting line-up of features, short films and documentaries, the Dublin Greek Film Festival is a fantastic opportunity to get some hands on experience when learning about Greek culture as there will be some very special events on offer including a free workshop aimed at introducing you to traditional Greek circle dances.
The Silk Road Film Festival (SRFF) is held annually in Dublin and welcomes films from countries that were part of the historical network of ancient trade routes that connected Persia, Middle East, Arab, East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and Europe as well as parts of North and East Africa. Highlights of the festival include: Tangerines Directed by Zaza Urushadze, Tangerines is a taut and gripping anti-war film set during the brutal 1992 Georgian-Abkhazian war. An old man watches the growing conflict from his tangerine orchard when a sudden shootout leaves to wounded soldiers from opposing sides close by. The old man tries to keep the peace while nursing the two mortal enemies in his small house. 40 Days of Silence Featuring an all female cast, 40 Days of Silence is an incredible film about women’s voices, and the sins and responsibilities they have to bear in a society that is largely patriarchal. Bibicha, a young girl takes a vow of silence that is to last 40 days to atone for her sins. She and three other women carry out this traditional vow in Bibicha’s Grandmother’s house in an Uzbek village.
This valentines day, the Pavilion theatre is proud to announce a special screening of Cinema Paradiso, director Giuseppe Tornatore’s ode to love, friendship and films. In the film, a famous director reminisces about his childhood at the Cinema Paradiso where Alfredo, the projectionist, first ignited his love for film. When the director returns to the Sicilian village he grew up in for the first time in many years he’s reminded of those precious childhood memories, his first love and the losses and regrets of his past. Films, especially great films like Cinema Paradiso, are able to manipulate your perception of reality and alter or affirm your view on life. Cinema Paradiso is an enduring love letter to cinema and its raw emotive power. Don’t miss the chance to take your significant other to see Cinema Paradiso on the big screen and share in a truly wonderful experience. “A classic gem of nostalgia” – The Guardian
The ever-popular Warner Brother Harry Potter studio tour gets a very special festive twist this winter with Hogwarts in the Snow. The magic of the festive season played a big part in the Harry Potter series and this year fans will have a chance to experience Hogwarts as a breath-taking winter wonderland courtesy of a comprehensive seasonal makeover. Many of the experts behind Harry Potter have contributed to this festive transformation, with the stunning Hogwarts Castle model set to be covered in a wintery blanket of snow – in fact a light dusting of dendric salt – just as it was at various points in the Harry Potter film series. Visitors will also get a chance to discover first-hand how the film’s epic Christmas feast scenes were created and enjoy a fascinating insight into the seasonal transformation of the Harry Potter film sets. The festive season is a magical time and there can be few more bewitching family days out than a tour of the Harry Potter studio, especially now it’s been given a very special wintery makeover