Talking Pictures

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20th International Bradford Film Festival

Posted by keith1942 on March 6, 2014

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March 27th sees the welcome return in the 20th edition of this showcase for films from all over the world and from many different periods of |International Cinema. The launch on February 26th saw the Festival co-directors, Tom Vincent and Neil Young, present some of the highlights of the eleven days of screenings and a show reel of trailers for these. What can, I presume, be called their mission statement offered ‘We think we put the world before you’. The programme will include 127 films, of which 43 will be UK premieres.

Many of the latter will be in the Festival Official Selection, hosting films from 20 different countries. These include dramas, melodramas and documentaries. And among these are a number of promising new UK productions.

There will be a complete retrospective of the work of Sally Potter who will receive the Bradford International Film Festival Fellowship. The retrospective includes her early short films and all of her seven features. The only disappointment is that it seems that Orlando (1992) is only available in the HDCam format.

Then we have five ‘crime films’ directed by Japanese filmmaker Nomura Yoshitaro. A major director he worked at the Shochiku Studio from the 1950s to the 1970s. These films were all adapted from the stories of the writer Matsumoto Seichō,

The regular section of the Festival Uncharted States of America features a tribute to James Benning. His films have been a recurring feature in the programme over the years. They are distinctive studies of Americana, with a strong minimalist feel. The programme includes both his work on 16mm and using digital formats.

There is also the regular horror strand, Bradford after dark. The films seem to include comedy, the surreal and the genuine unsettling.

Biff also provides tributes to important contributions to British Cinema. So this year the Lifetime Achievement Award goes to the actor Brian Cox., The Festival is greening one of his television works – Nigel Kneale bizarre but forward looking The Year of the Sex Olympics (BBC 1968) – and five of his features. The one disappointment is that this does not include Ken Loach’s Hidden Agenda (1990), a film with a fine performance by Brian Cox which deals with a somewhat taboo subject, Britain’s ‘shoot to kill’ policy in occupied north of Eire. This last film would, of course, be extremely topical at this point in time.

There is also a selection of Short films and several silents. There are specialist talks and interviews and a range of supporting cinematic material. There is also a Filmmakers’ Weekend organised together with the Northern Film School at Leeds Metropolitan University. And a special bonus for traditional cinephiles – after the opening Thursday and Friday there is at least one 355mm screening every day. The Festival uses the Pictureville, Cubby Broccoli and Imax screens, and there are also screenings at Bradford Cathedral, Bradford University, the Impressions Gallery and [in nearby Leeds] the Hyde Park Picture House.

See for full details: there is also a complete Festival Brochure.

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