A particular emphasis on films from abroad will mark this year’s 24th Chichester International Film Festival.
Running from August 13-30 at the Chichester Cinema at New Park (www.chichestercinema.org), the festival will also offer a retrospective on Orson Welles in his centenary year and a tribute to Oscar-winner Julianne Moore. There will also be a focus on film music.
Festival director Roger Gibson said: “I went to St Petersburg in October to the film market, and I saw several films. I contacted the producers and various sales agents, and I have managed to select a group of films that have never been shown in this country. One of the big areas of the festival this year will be Russian and Czech and Polish films. In Russian we have got seven UK premieres. I have chosen an interesting film from Russia called Two Women (as the festival’s closing gala on August 30) starring Ralph Fiennes speaking Russian. It’s brilliantly done. It’s based on a classic Russian novel by Turgenev. It’s a kind of Russian heritage film.”
As Roger says, there is a great appetite for seeing films in the UK in their original language, rather than dubbed.
Roger added: “To me, the most ambitious part of the programme is that we are doing a focus on film music which includes Carl Davis talking about the music he wrote for some Chaplin shorts. I have always been interested in film music, and it has always been something I have wanted to do. What we have done, which I think is quite unique, is that we went through the various composers, and we chose William Alwyn who was probably the most prolific of the British film composers. He wrote for more than 200 films. The idea is that before showing four of his films, we will have a piece of chamber music played live. We are starting with Odd Man Out which is considered his best score, and then The Fallen Idol, and then The Magic Box which has got the most incredible cast. The fourth is The Card with Alec Guinness.”
As part of the festival, five further Alwyn films will be screened (without live music).
“We are also doing a retrospective on Orson Welles. This is his centenary year, and we are showing all the classics (seven in all, including Citizen Kane, The Third Man and Chimes at Midnight). We are also showing six TV films that he made in the 50s, Around the World with Orson Welles. They have just been put together on DVD and will be issued commercially.”
It’s the celebration of an extraordinary talent: “To begin with, Citizen Kane is so relevant in terms of everything he did, the lighting, the structure, the acting, the script. His style is almost baroque. He is not exactly a quiet director!.”
As for Julianne Moore, Roger has brought together six of her films including Still Alice (for which she won the Oscar earlier this year), plus Maps to the Stars, What Maisie Knew with Steve Coogan and Savage Grace, which also starred her fellow 2015 best-actor-Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne.
The film festival will also include Treasures from the Archives, and Battleship Potemkin, the Russian silent film, will be offered with live piano accompaniment. See www.chichestercinema.org.
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