Chichester International Film Festival offers great programme this summer

The Chichester International Film Festival gets back to business this summer with a fine array of films old and new and retrospectives.

Monday, 9th August 2021, 6:05 am
Roger Gibson
Roger Gibson

It runs from August 12-29 at the Chichester Cinema at New Park.

Festival artistic director and cinema founder Roger Gibson said: “We are delighted to open this year’s festival with a cracking new British film.

“We welcome Timothy Spall to introduce the UK premiere of The Last Bus, a road movie with a difference.”

Other British films include Censor, Minamata, Limbo, The Nest and the UK premiere of The War Below, an independent production about miners planting bombs in the trenches. Neil Monaghan will introduce his controversial political thriller Election Night.

“The lion’s share of the festival goes to European cinema.

“I have been particularly pleased to have imported eight major UK premieres via the Berlinale (online) Festival in February and September’s glorious Venice Festival all with physical screenings. Watch out for Unidentified (Romania); Code: Karim and Fellinopolis (Italy); Dawn of War (Estonia); Helene (Finland); Merkel (Germany); and three from France: Django, the mouth-watering Delicieux about the first pre-revolutionary restaurant in France, and The Rose Maker.

“The strength of French films is reflected in a sub strand of European cinema Vive la France containing ten new films including from our partner the Institut Français with the superb De Gaulle and the wickedly funny and politically incorrect Simply Black.

“In our Window on the World selection of ten films from the same number of countries, I would highlight Knock Knock, a film noir from China, the remarkable debut feature The Badgera a thriller set in present-day Iran, Souad from Egypt, and perhaps the most controversial film in the festival, New Order from Mexico, where a violent class struggle erupts during a lavish high society wedding – not for the squeamish!”

“Another regular festival live event is bringing to life a classic gothic silent film, this year with the 1921 The Golem, a typically creepy German expressionist film being screened in a new venue for us, the Guildhall in Priory Park, bringing plenty of atmosphere.

“The piano wizardry of John Sweeney will enliven the event with his inventive accompaniment.

“In the disABILITY section, the eight unique films, both fiction and documentary, portray and explore different aspects of disability.

“Despite the serious subject matter, the films are positive, often uplifting and heart-warming, portrayed with grace, dignity and humour.

“As can be seen with the recent The Father and Supernova, these subjects are now embraced into the mainstream.

“The five retrospectives/tributes/centenaries of Bertrand Taverner, Christopher Nolan, Malcolm Arnold, Dirk Bogarde and Federico Fellini speak for themselves.

“The Fellini centenary was last year but having planned this opportunity to celebrate arguably the greatest Italian film maker ever, I could not resist but resurrect this section from 2020.

“To put these four retrospectives into context they will be supported by illustrated talks presented by experts in their own field.

“Whilst many festivals during this difficult period have adopted an online or hybrid festival, both Walter (Francisco, cinema director and programmer) and I agree that coming to a cinema is a communal experience in which audiences immerse themselves in the film together. I admit that streaming offers convenience and choice and, in the future, we may have to accept both and co-exist, but I ain’t gonna encourage it!”

More details on the festival website chichesterfilmfestival.co.uk