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!

What's On


13th - 19th August

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 **

10th - 16th September

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.


10th - 16th September

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.

8th - 14th October

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.


Previously REWOUND

16th - 22nd July  Camera Catalonia - Black Bread (Pa negre)

Black Bread (Pa negre) 

BLACK BREAD screened at the 32nd Cambridge Film Festival as part of CAMERA CATALONIA

This screening was supported by Institut Ramon Llull.

16th - 22nd July  Camera Catalonia - The Marina Cafe (El Cafe de la Marina)

The Marina Cafe (El Cafe de la Marina)

Lead actress Marina Salas came to Cambridge in 2015 to take part in two fascinating Q&As with our Camera Catalonia audiences.

This screening was supported by Institut Ramon Llull.

16th - 22nd July  Camera Catalonia - Fiction (Ficció)

Fiction (Ficció) 

Back at CFF34 we were very happy to present another film from Cesc Gay, after his film VOS which we screened two years previously.

This screening was supported by Institut Ramon Llull.

Screened 18th - 24th June

La Haine

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. 

Screened 21st - 27th May 

Paris, Texas 

Wim Wenders attended CFF 8 to present PARIS, TEXAS in 1984. Just weeks after it had won the Palme d’Or at Cannes.

Screened 21st - 27th May 

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.


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