Launching the festival with style (with the kind support of the Austrian Film Museum) audiences enjoyed the rare opportunity to see Michael Nyman accompanying a programme of films including Dziga Vertov’s KINO PRAVDA 21 and Vigo’s A PROPOS DE NICE.
The festival in 2007 was strongly influenced by the unprecendented number of submissions which were received (over 800) including a spectacular range of UK and International shorts, features and documentaries, from which 8 programmes of the best in short film-making were compiled and 7 new features and 3 documentaries were added to theprogramme. Many of the film-makers travelled from as far afield as South Africa and Canada to present their UK premieres and Cambridge audiences took these films to their hearts, voting not only Seth Grossman’s THE ELEPHANT KING and Nino Leitner’s EVERY STEP YOU TAKE into the Audience Top Ten but also ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS: THE WAY OF THE TOSSER to the coveted People’s Favourite Film Award, following in the footsteps of previous winners, VOLVER (2006), BROKEN FLOWERS (2005) and STAGE BEAUTY (2004).
UK premieres included the opening night film LADY CHATTERLEY, ANNA M, THE WALKER and the latest film from Studio Ghibli, TALES FROM EARTHSEA. The festival closed with UK premieres of THE HOAX and THE 11TH HOUR. A season celebrating the best in New German cinema was once again curated by Monika Treut and eclectic shorts and documentaries including THE MAN WHO SHOT CHINATOWN and DELIVER US FROM EVIL contributed to the programme.
A particularly strong element of this year’s festival was our Cinecology season, highlighting the most interesting work inspired by all things eco. Also well received were classic revivals including Bergman’s THE SEVENTH SEAL and THIEF OF BAGHDAD and the ever-popular MICROCINEMA strand featuring the UK premiere of acclaimed filmmaker Sarah Turner’s ECOLOGY. The History of Children’s Film and Television strand brought nostalgia and rediscovery with our festival Dalek thrown in for good measure. Adding charm to the corridors of the Arts, a very special exhibition of Harold Lloyd prints made the journey from LA, courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, to compliment a revival of films fondly selected and introduced by Lloyd’s granddaughter Suzanne Lloyd.
Highlights at partner venues included a performance by magnificent band Youth Movies at the Junction which had us all watching our favourite big screen kisses to a very contemporary live soundtrack. For the first time ever we also screened a selection of features and short films at the Curzon Soho in London during the festival.
The festival welcomed a whole host of filmmakers and acting talent to Cambridge from Croatia, Poland, Germany, France, Austria, Canada and the US and of course, the UK – Kenneth Branagh and Brian Blessed were here to charm audiences following AS YOU LIKE IT. Plus visits from French director Bruno Dumont (FLANDERS) and UK actor Ben Chaplin (CHROMOPHOBIA).
The response from the wider media was strong. With coverage and acclaim in, amongst others Time Out, The Independent, The Guardian and Empire who remarked that ‘the Cambridge Film Festival is one of the key screen events in the UK calendar’. In addition our local media partners were equally as enthusiastic with key coverage from The Cambridge Evening News (‘one of the premier events of the summer calendar’), Q103 Radio, BBC Cambridgeshire and the East Anglian Times (‘A film festival with something for everyone’).
Our brand new website, designed by local web company Studio24, was a big hit and 11,209 unique users made a total of 18,700 visits during the festival period and viewed 98,283 pages between them. 191 keen reviewers submitted 437 reviews of 126 festival films. Cambridge Film Festival also embraced Web 2.0 with RSS feeds for festival news and reviews, a Facebook group and even a YouTube channel for the festival, building on the podcasts and MySpace presence introduced in 2006.
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