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Grantchester Meadows Screening

Cambridge Film Festival

The annual Cambridge Film Festival - the third longest running film festival in the UK - is a celebration of film – past present and future. It's a chance to relive and enjoy past glories, but also to see what’s happening in film right now, and reveal new talents who will shape the future of cinema. A good example of that is a chap who had his student short selected for the programme here back in 1996, named Christopher Nolan. Apparently he’s done quite well since! Of course it’s also a chance to see films from around the world, from other countries and cultures, many of which we might not otherwise come into contact with. And it’s all brought to our doorstep. It brings the people who make the films here, too, of course, so it’s a chance to meet and put your questions to actors, writers and directors. What makes Cambridge different from other Festivals is that it attracts big names but is nonetheless intimate and approachable. There are no red carpets, no banks of flashbulbs going off, and the chances are the acclaimed director of the much-anticipated new film you’re about to see is happily hanging out in the bar, just like you! Our audiences like that – the filmmakers actually love it, too.

Special Events and Outdoor Screenings

The Festival is the biggest event of the Cambridge Film Trust, a charity set up to produce the Film Festival and promote opportunities for people to experience a diverse selection of film. One quest of the Cambridge Film Trust and Festival is outdoor screenings, or screenings in unusual places.

With films on Grantchester Meadows by the river Granta, on the historic Magdalene Street and at the unique Jesus Green Lido every year, as well as outdoor screening at the stunning grounds of Childerly Hall, the Festival provides fantastic ways to enjoy cinema in the open air. The Festival is lucky to have access to one of the largest inflatable screens in the country, and a team of expert projectionists. Cambridge itself is special and unique, with amazing spaces that are just crying out to be used and enjoyed creatively. 

Another benefit for Cambridge residents and visitors is having the opportunity to experience old films that may otherwise not have been seen on the big screen again (or in some cases even on the small screen!). For example, films made in the silent era, which have provided some magical events as leading musicians from the film accompaniment field join the Festival to play live and enthral audiences.

The Film Festival has also brought some well-known names into Cambridge, including Gary Oldman, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Cate Blanchett, Michael Palin, Mitchell & Webb, and Damian Lewis, often in tandem with Premieres and Opening Night Galas. 

Cambridge Family Film Festival

In 2010 the Cambridge Family Film Festival began as a section of the main Festival and offers cheaper tickets, shorter programmes, popular characters and activities for younger viewers so that parents and children alike can enjoy a trip to the cinema. 

The Cambridge Film Festival takes place every September over 11 days, usually running from the second Thursday of September. Most screenings take place at the Arts Picturehouse cinema in the centre of town, with some screenings at different venues and locations across the city and beyond.

Find out more and subscribe to the newsletter at www.cambridgefilmfestival.org.uk

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