For ten days between Friday 24 March and Sunday 2 April, Borderlines Film Festival will be showing a diverse selection of the best in contemporary cinema in twenty venues in Herefordshire and Shropshire. The largest rural film festival in the UK, Borderlines will screen over 30 feature films, half a dozen documentaries and a good number of shorts. As well as the three full time professional venues - The Courtyard Hereford, Ludlow Assembly Rooms, Old Market Hall Shrewsbury, seventeen ‘Flicks in the Sticks’ venues will be taking the Festival to all four corners of the two counties screening in the market towns and villages of Ballingham, Bosbury, Brilley, Burghill, Clifford, Clun, Clungunford, Dilwyn, Garway, Gorsley, Kingsland, Ledbury, Leintwardine, Leominster, Michaelchurch Escley, Much Wenlock, and Ross-on-Wye.
"We're continuing our commitment to bringing the best of contemporary world cinema to people who otherwise have little or no chance to see these films." explains Borderlines Film Festival Director, David Gillam.
The Festival opens at The Courtyard with Michael Winterbottom’s thoroughly entertaining A Cock and Bull Story, an extremely funny mix of literary adaptation and inside-showbiz comedy that features Steve Coogan and a raft of top British comedy talent. While also on Friday 24 March, at Ludlow Assembly Rooms, we will be showing the most beautiful film ever made in Britain, On The Black Hill that was shot in and around Herefordshire. Director Andrew Grieve will attend the Festival to talk about adapting Bruce Chatwin’s novel for the screen.
Among the highlights at The Courtyard is an Evening with Barry Norman, for over thirty years the face of film on BBC and Sky TV, who shares his thoughts on interviewing celebrities like John Wayne, Robert de Niro and Peter Sellers. The Britten Sinfonia will be accompanying an evening of classic Chaplin comedies, Easy Street, The Cure, and The Rink that contain some of the funniest scenes he ever made. While that other great comic genius of the silent screen, Buster Keaton features in a fantastic double bill, Sherlock Jr and Steamboat Bill Jr at the Ludlow Assembly Rooms.
Among the other films already confirmed is Ang Lee‘s Brokeback Mountain, the story of two men who know they can never live the lives they want, which is hotly-tipped for Oscar glory. Michael Haneke’s Hidden won the Best Director Prize at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, and, Atom Egoyan’s stylish, twisted thriller, Where The Truth Lies features flawless performances from Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon. While the cream of Irish acting talent - Liam Neeson, Stephen Rea and Brendan Gleeson, Cillian Murphy - all give fine turns in Neil Jordan’s Breakfast on Pluto, the story of the endearing, eternally optimistic transvestite, Patrick ‘Kitten’ Braden’s search for love and happiness.
One of the highlights of the eagerly anticipated world cinema section is the stunning ‘Tibetan Western’, Kekexili: Mountain Patrol, a big hit at last year’s London Film Festival, that gives you a taste of the wild Tibetan plateau like no other film ever made. Also featuring are three English premieres - Night & Day, the enthralling Chinese story of a man torn between his family obligations and his desire to make his fortune that won the Best Film Prize at the Festival of 3 Continents Nantes. The powerful Earth and Ashes explores life in war-torn Afghanistan, while the hysterical sex comedy, Sex With Love is the most popular film ever made in Chile
Among the documentaries to be screened are Icelandic music documentary Screaming Masterpiece that features Bjork, Sigur Ros, and some stunning photography of Iceland’s storm-lashed coastline. The outstanding Cuban documentary of recent years Havana Suite, which is a gentle, reflective, poem of love to Havana. And the positive, uplifting Sisters in Law whose director Florence Ayissi will be present to introduce her film.
So whatever your particular taste in films may be I believe you’ll find something to enjoy at this year’s Borderlines Film Festival.
Borderlines Film Festival Director