2016 is the third year of Derby Film Festival in its current guise. After successfully building on the impressive iD Fest and incorporating Fantastiq Film Festival into the programme, it’s a high quality and very welcoming affair which goes from strength to strenght. This year it has expanded even more – More previews, more top quality films from the vaults and more special events. The festival takes place at Derby QUAD from 28 April to 8 May.
Some of the highlights include:
Florence Foster Jenkins (Opening Night Preview)
Starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant and directed by Stephen Frears, Florence Foster Jenkins is the true story of the legendary New York heiress and socialite who obsessively pursued her dream of becoming a great singer. The voice she heard in her head was beautiful, but to everyone else it was hilariously awful. Her “husband” and manager, St Clair Bayfield, an aristocratic English actor, was determined to protect his beloved Florence from the truth. But when Florence decided to give a public concert at Carnegie Hall in 1944, St Clair knew he faced his greatest challenge.
Celine and Julie Go Boating
Jacques Rivette sadly passed away at the beginning of the year. Whilst he’s not one of the most well-known French New Wave film-makers, this year has seen a huge resurgence of interest in his work. His most popular film, and arguably his best, is Celine and Julie Go Boating. Monday gives you a rare opportunity to see it on the big screen in glorious 35mm.
Two unemployed guys meet by chance while they’re out running and they become running mates and develop a bond, which is quite strange. During the story, three people are killed in strange circumstances and the film poses the enigma: what happened to them? The answer lies somewhere in the psychology of these two guys, and it’s up to the audience to decide what has happened.
Vanishing Point/The Driver Double Bill
The theme of this year’s festival and there’s a special opportunity to see two of the most iconic driving movies of the ’70s in a double bill. Barry Newman and Ryan O’Neal get behind the wheel in two iconic roles which continue to have a lasting impact on popular culture, films and video games.
Early summer in a village in Northern Turkey. Five free-spirited teenaged sisters splash about on the beach with their male classmates. Though their games are merely innocent fun, a neighbor passes by and reports what she considers to be illicit behavior to the girls’ family. The family overreacts, removing all “instruments of corruption,” like cell phones and computers, and essentially imprisoning the girls, subjecting them to endless lessons in housework in preparation for them to become brides. As the eldest sisters are married off, the younger ones bond together to avoid the same fate. The fierce love between them empowers them to rebel and chase a future where they can determine their own lives in Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s debut, a powerful portrait of female empowerment.
April and the Extraordinary World
Paris, 1941. A family of scientists is on the brink of discovering a powerful longevity serum when all of a sudden a mysterious force abducts them, leaving their young daughter April behind. Ten years later, April (voiced by Academy Award nominee Marion Cotillard) lives alone with her dear cat, Darwin, and carries on her family’s research in secret. But she soon finds herself at the center of a shadowy and far-reaching conspiracy, and on the run from government agents, bicycle-powered dirigibles and cyborg rat spies. Undaunted, she continues her quest to find her parents and discover the truth behind their disappearance.
Roman Holiday at Derby Museum
Audrey Hepburn is an enduring Hollywood icon, and in Roman Holiday she plays a princess on a European tour. By the time she reaches Rome she’s utterly fed-up by her strict schedule and decides to sneak off; eventually meeting-up with an American journalist played by Gregory Peck. This wonderful film will be shown in the very special surrounds of Derby Museum.
Meet Peltzer Arbuckle, a meek and bullied office employee, humiliated by his megalomaniac boss, teasing colleagues and his cheating partner. Peltzer spends his days in misery, stuck in his own mundane, nightmarish reality.
Once news about his embarrassing sexual accident makes it’s way around the workplace, Peltzer decides to put up with his humiliation no more, and conjures up his childhood imaginary friend Ronnie. Peltzer’s world is soon turned upside down, when Ronnie attempts to manipulate him to exact revenge on his tormenting co-workers in the most gruesome fashion.
The Call Up
When a group of elite online gamers each receive a mysterious invitation to trial a state-of-the-art virtual reality video game, it’s a dream come true and impossible to resist.
Arriving at the test site, the group step into hi-tech gear and prepare for a revolutionary, next-level gaming experience that brings modern warfare to life with frightening realism.
At first it’s a unique and exhilarating experience. But what starts out like a dream encounter with cutting edge technology quickly takes a turn for the sinister.
Once the group are attacked by enemy combatants, they soon realize this is no game after all. Make a mistake here and you pay with your life. Now these masters of the shoot ‘em up will have to fight for survival within a game gone bad, but this time it’s for real.
This year’s special guest is Simon Callow. To see the full programme, book tickets and find out more about the special events taking place, visit the festival website.