“Lights, camera action.”
That’s the best opening we could come up with for this article on upcoming UK film festivals. OK, so we’re clearly not creative enough to go out and actually make an entertaining film, so we’ll settle for travelling to some of the UK’s finest locations to sit down and watch them. And since the nights are well and truly drawing in, there’s no better time to spend a couple of hours in a darkened room watching an array of celluloid entertainment.
One of the best things about film festivals is the opportunity to experience something you wouldn’t normally see – to be transported to another world for a couple of hours. And even if you catch the next big thing, chances are you’re doing so before anyone else, so you also get the chance to bore your friends to death talking about it before it’s even released!
There are loads of fantastic festivals this month, with films as varied as the locations they’re being screened in. So if you fancy taking some time off to travel the country watching films (who wouldn’t?) then check out the festivals highlighted below. And if you fancy somewhere to stay, we’ve added links to featured properties in the area.
Inverness Film Festival, 9-13 November
The IFF is pretty much the definition of great film festival programming. There are Scottish premieres of hotly tipped Terence Davies’ ‘The Deep Blue Sea’, and Steve McQueen’s new film ‘Shame’ starring Michael Fassbender. Horror fans may be satiated with a new version of ‘The Thing’ – though if early word is to be believed, the true horror lies in its lack of quality! If you fancy staring at some wild windswept landscapes then you might want to check out the new version of ‘Wuthering Heights’ – though as you’ll be up in the Highlands you might prefer the real thing!
Bath Film Festival, 10-19 November
The BFF has its own share of premieres, covering a range of genres, but also offers a few unique celebrations of cinema. There’s a celebration of Ken Loach to mark the director’s 75 birthday this year, alongside a range of British cinema screenings. The past will also be celebrated with some restored classics, including Silent Running and Cutter’s Way.
The Leeds International Film Festival, 3-20 November
The LIFF returns with a selection to delight cineastes and a packed program to entertain genre fans for hours at a time. The renowned horror marathons return with a preview of the intriguing Cuban zombie film ‘Juan of the Dead’ and there’s also a HD showing of ‘Aliens’ in the Town Hall. Alongside the Official Selection there are short films, workshops and plenty more!
French Film festival UK, 9 November-6 December
France’s contribution to cinema has never been in question. The only problem with the French Film Festival is its not actually in France! Still, that’s not really an issue, as it means cinemas around the country can participate. So, from Edinburgh and Aberdeen to Manchester, Warwick and London, there’s bound to be a venue near you showing the best in French cinema. Special events include a screening with Daniel Auteuil, silent films with a live accompaniment and multimedia installations.
Kendal Mountain Film festival, 17-20 November
If you fancy watching something on screen, then walking out and trying it for yourself then the Kendal Mountain Film Festival might be more your cup of tea. An annual celebration of mountain culture in film, lectures, art and literature, the festival is famed for its promotion of mountains and the wilderness, so as you might imagine, it showcases an abundance of natural beauty from around the globe. There are films to get the adrenaline flowing, talks from outdoor enthusiasts, competitions and even pub quizzes!