Actress Greta Scacchi to answer questions at Keswick Film Festival

Ian Payne
Ian Payne

The four-day Keswick Film Festival will take place at the Alhambra cinema and Theatre by the Lake in Keswick, and Rheged, near Penrith, between February 16 and 19.

Over the course of the event, 30 films will be screened, including the classic Casablanca and Cumbrian favourite Swallows and Amazons. The film’s producer Nick Barton will host a Q&A session and visual effects supervisor Simon Hughes will give a talk on working with computer-generated imagery (CGI).

Festival director Ian Payne, who helps Keswick Film Club programmer David Miller select the titles, says: “The range of films is probably what makes it so successful. We’ve got a tremendous mix of current and classic films.

“It brings visitors from all over Cumbria when things are a bit flat in February. It’s a bit like the film Groundhog Day in that it’s a sign of spring coming.”

Three established film critics have each chosen their favourite film of 2016 for the Critics’ Award and the audience are invited to vote for their favourite.

Matt Glasby has selected Son of Saul, the winner of the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award in 2016; Karen Krizanovich has chosen Arrival which featured heavily in the best films of 2016 listings; and Ali Catterall has picked Raw, which also made it on to those lists on the basis of a few previews and festival screenings.

A Q&A session with West End and movie star Greta Scacchi will be open to all following the showing of three of her films, including The Browning Version, by Carlisle-born director Mike Figgis.

The Osprey Short Film Awards is an annual celebration of local filmmaking. A selection of short films created by Cumbrian filmmakers are shown and winners are voted for by the audience.

 Greta Scacchi

Greta Scacchi

Films must be no longer than 10 minutes and at least one member of the filmmaking crew must have some connection to Cumbria.

The final two titles of the festival are Toni Erdmann, an Austrian comedy, and La La Land, a feel-good musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

Ian said: “I think they round it off perfectly. It’s been a great year for films and this year is our strongest programme yet.”

To celebrate Casablanca’s 75th anniversary, director Michael Curtiz will be the subject of a number of screenings and a talk led by author Adam Felnstein.

A competition with the chance to win festival passes is being run on the Keswick Film Festival Facebook page, inviting people to tag a friend to enter.

The giveaway targets 16 to 23-year-olds to encourage young people to get involved. Ian says: “It’s an informal festival – there’s no red carpet and the guests mingle with the audience. Although it’s small, it’s a very friendly festival and people come back to meet old friends, which is lovely.”

Festival tickets are available from the Theatre by the Lake box office.

A full programme is available to view online at festival.

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