A Film Festival to Remember
There were sell-out screenings, packed audiences and special events at last week’s Bridport Film Festival, From Page To Screen.
From Page to Screen is the only film festival to celebrate the art of adaptation and hasn’t been live since 2019, due to Covid restrictions. Over 5 days and 21 screenings it brought cinematic classics – from the 1920s to the 2020s – to more than 1500 film fans.
Guest Curator Edith Bowman had waited more than two years to join the festival in-person to share her selection of soundtrack-driven films. Chosen to represent each decade of the past century of cinema, they started with Hitchcock’s early silent gem ‘The Lodger’ (with a live piano accompaniment, arranged and played by the Bridport Arts Centre’s Director Mick Smith) and culminated in ‘Spencer’, acclaimed for its dramatic compositions by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood.
Edith hosted film introductions as well as post-screening interviews with Tom Littledyke, after ‘Flee’, and Mark Hix after ‘Boiling Point’. In response to Flee’s powerful depiction of an Afghani refugee’s experience of escape, Tom Littledyke shared with her the inside story of his two trips carrying humanitarian aid from his Marshwood Vale pub The Shave Cross Inn to displaced Ukrainians. Local restaurateur Mark Hix spoke candidly with Edith after Boiling Point’s single-take portrait of a night in a professional kitchen, about his concerns for the hospitality industry.
‘Thanks to the Bridport Film Festival committee for having me help curate, what I felt, was a fabulous programme that allowed me to share my passion for Soundtracks, to enthuse about great storytelling and important storytelling that can encourage us all to think about our actions and how we live our life, and to remind us how cinema encourages us to escape. Thank you also to the wonderful people of Bridport and those who travelled to watch the films and listen to the chats, you made me feel so very welcome. I hope I can come back again soon but know that you live in a very special place and the film festival is something you should be extremely proud of’.
There was a special event for families at The Lyric Theatre screening of Disney’s original 1940 version of ‘Pinocchio’. The Lyric is now the home of the Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company – who are on a national tour with their own interpretation of the iconic Italian story – but for one afternoon it was transformed back into the town cinema it was from 1912 to 1962. After the film children could make their own puppets with Stuff and Nonsense’s Holly Miller.
“It was wonderful to have a lively young audience back in The Lyric after the constraints of the past two years, and to see all their brilliant puppet creations set off out the door was a joy.”
Bridport Arts Centre Director Mick Smith closed the festival after his performance at ‘The Lodger’ saying;
“It’s been fantastic to see From Page To Screen filling BAC with such enthusiastic audiences – and selling out at the Electric Palace for the opening night’s showing of ‘Operation Mincemeat’. Our sponsors Arts University Bournemouth, The Film Society and Cilla & Camilla have made the event possible once again. And the support we have from the town is phenomenal, supporters like Clocktower Music, The Bookshop and Fruits of the Earth really help to make this Bridport’s Film Festival.”
(The festival’s raffle raised over £450 for The Disasters Emergency Committee’s Ukraine and Afghanistan Appeals.)
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