A look back at a selection of great films from 40 years of Cambridge Film Festival.
As we look forward CFF40 this November, what better time to look back at some of the great films CFF has brought to Cambridge since its inception in 1977.
We are pleased to be offering these unique snapshots of Cambridge Film Festival on a Pay What You Can Afford basis!
La Haine - BOOK NOW
1995, 98 mins, 15, Dir. Mathieu Kassovitz, Cast. Vincent Cassel, Hubert Koundé, Saïd Taghmaoui, Abdel Ahmed Ghili, Solo, Joseph Momo, Héloïse Rauth
Released to both acclaim and consternation at home (it won best director at Cannes but was protested by police for its perceived anti police narrative) LA HAINE quickly went on to achieve cult cinema status around the world and made a star of its lead Vincent Cassel.
La Haine is gritty and funny, unsettling and beautiful and is as vital today as when it screend at CFF in 1995.
Centring on Vinz (Vincent Cassel), Hubert (Hubert Koundé), and Saïd (Saïd Taghmaoui) a Jew, an African, and an Arab, who are the personifications of France’s immigrant populations, as they aimlessly pass their days among the concrete and poverty of the banlieue districts on Paris, and their resentment at their situation builds to a cinematic crescendo.
LA HAINE famously spearheaded a wave of films about the banlieues and opened the door to a new genre of french films among which it remains legendary.
Black Bread (Pa negre) - BOOK NOW
2010, 108 Mins, CFF 18, Dir. Agustí Villaronga, Cast. Francesc Colomer, Marina Comas, Nora Navas, Roger Casamajor, Lluïsa Castell, Mercè Arànega
BLACK BREAD had its UK premiere at the 32nd Cambridge Film Festival as part of CAMERA CATALONIA
Beta Cinema Spain’s submission for the Best Foreign Language Oscar is the first film in the Catalan language to win the Goya for Best Film as well as in eight other categories.
It is set during the aftermath of the civil war, and against the backdrop of the beautiful Catalan countryside. Beneath this beauty lies the debris of nationwide conflict. A young boy, Andreu, finds the corpses of a man and his son in the forest. When the authorities want to pin the blame on his father, the boy decides to try and help him, setting out to discover who killed them.
From a shocking opening, Villaronga follows his themes of childhood, war, horror and guilt in a powerful film.
This screening is supported by Institut Ramon Llull.
You Were never really here - BOOK NOW
2017, 89 mins, 15, Dir. Lynne Ramsay, Cast. Joaquin Phoenix, Judith Roberts, Ekaterina Samsonov
After headlining a Lynne Ramsay retrospective at CFF 37 in 2017, YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE went on to win rave reviews from audiences and critics alike.
Joaquin Phoenix and Ekaterina Samsonov are the mesmerising leads in YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE, adapted from the novel by American author Jonathan Ames. Lynne Ramsay’s dark and gripping thriller pulls the viewer into a nightmarish world of missing teenage girl Nina, with brutal and tormented enforcer Joe on a rescue mission. Corrupt power and vengeance unleash a storm of violence that may lead to his awakening.
You Were Never Really Here is a taut and almost unbearably intense 90-minutes, without an ounce of fat on it. Ramsay doesn't give you a second to breathe. It's grim, it’s dark, it’s delirious fun.
** Please note, due to rights issues there is a minimum £1 unlock fee for You Were Never Really Here **
Fitzcarraldo - BOOK NOW
1982, 143 mins, PG, Dir. Werner Herzog, Cast. Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale, José Lewgoy
CFF 6 in 1982 saw a widening of the Cambridge Film Festival programme and the hosting of the UK Premiere of Werner Herzog’s FITZCARRALDO.
One of Werner Herzog’s most acclaimed and audacious films, ‘Fitzcarraldo’ tells the incredible story of Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald (played by Herzog regular Klaus Kinski), an opera-loving fortune hunter who dreams of bringing opera to the heart of the Peruvian jungle.
With the help of the beautiful madam Molly (Claudia Cardinale), his loyal crew, and an indigenous tribe, ‘Fitzcarraldo’ journeys up the rivers of the Amazon hauling his steamship, the Molly Aida, over a mountain in order to access the riches of hitherto unexploited rubber territory.
In making his film of the visionary's adventures, Herzog famously refused to use special effects and insisted instead on actually transporting a steamship over the mountains!
★★★★ Arguably the greatest achievement from the hugely volatile Herzog/Kinski partnership.
An Impossible Project + Recorded Q&A - BOOK NOW
2020, 99 mins, CFF PG, Dir. Jens Meurer, Cast. Florian “Doc” Kaps, David Bohnett
An ode to analogue and a sumptuous invitation to fall in love with real things again. An Impossible Project (fittingly) played as part of AMPLIFY! Film Festival, an online collaboration between Cambridge, Bath, Brighton and Cornwall Film Festival in response to the Covid pandemic in 2020.
While the first iPhone was being launched in 2008, former biologist Dr Florian Kaps was heroically battling the odds to save the world’s last remaining Polaroid factory, and so keep analogue film alive in a world increasingly taken over by the digital image.
For this passion project, the filmmakers went the extra mile, shooting only on 35mm film and recording the soundtrack direct to vinyl from a live performance by a 40-piece jazz orchestra. Rich in curiosity and humour, this beautiful documentary uses one man’s passion to celebrate the potent and lasting connections between humans and technology, and the importance of preserving the tangible.
AN IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT is a sensuous and inspiring film about the revenge of analogue, proof that it IS possible, and probably necessary, to “think different”, and a sumptuous invitation to fall in love with real things again.
This screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Jens Meurer, producer and legendary analog rock photographer Phil Hunt, main protagonist Florian “Doc” Kaps and singer, American Idol star, Haley Reinhart.
Loveless - BOOK NOW
2017, 127 mins, 15, Dir. Andrey Zvyagintsev, Cast. Maryana Spivak, Aleksey Rozin, Matvey Novikov
Andrey Zvyagintsev’s emotionally powerful and visually stunning masterpiece played to a packed screen one at CFF 37 in 2017.
This stark and emotionally desolate tale of a Russian couple in the throes of a terrible separation confirms Andrey Zvyagintsev as one of the most accomplished filmmakers of his generation. Boris and Zhenya are going through a divorce. Arguing constantly, and in the process of selling their apartment, they are already preparing for their new lives. Neither seems interested in their 12-year-old son Alyosha. A film that is chilling in its presentation of conflict on a personal, national and international scale, it is shot in industrial tones to heighten the emotional Russian hinterland in which it unfolds.
Wim Wenders attended CFF 8 to present PARIS, TEXAS in 1984. Just weeks after it had won the Palme d’Or at Cannes.
Letters from Baghdad
Directors Zeva Oelbaum and Sabine Krayenbuhl presented LETTERS FROM BAGHDAD to two packed screenings at CFF 36 in 2016.
Screened 23rd -29th April
Rafiki introduced by Estrella Sendra from CAFF
Rafiki screened to great acclaim at the 2018 Cambridge Film Festival as part of CAFF (the Cambridge African Film Festival)
Screened 23rd -29th April
Dead Cat + Q&A with Director Stefan Georgiou
Dead Cat is Festival favourite Stefan Georgiou's debut feature and screened at the 2013 Cambridge Film Festival.
How to book
- Every month, some of the greatest films from 40 years of Cambridge Film Festival will be available to book via this page. To pre-book or book your tickets, please click on the links above.
- Booking links on this site will take you through to our CFF At Home Screening Room (run by Eventive) where you can pay for and view films. You will need to create an account on Eventive when you book the films.
- As a charity with the aim of bringing great films to as many people as possible we are offering these screenings on a Pay What You Can Afford basis. We hope that by removing the barrier of cost more people will be able to watch (or re-watch) these festival highlights.
- All tickets will be available on a sliding scale and you can choose what you pay based on your circumstances - you won’t be asked for any proof / ID.
How to watch a film
- It’s very simple! You will be able to watch the film by accessing our CFF At Home Screening Room here. Your booking email will also include a “watch now” button which will take you directly to it.
- Films will be available to watch on our CFF At Home Screening Room for one week, from 6pm on Friday to midnight on the following Thursday.
- You will be able start watching your booked films at any time during their availability window. Once you start, you will have 48 hours to complete your viewing.
- Films are available to watch anywhere in the UK, so please do tell your friends and family about it!
- If you still have questions, have a look at our FAQs below.