The Cornwall Film Festival will be holding its 12th edition between 8 and 10 November 2013 at Lighthouse Cinema in Newquay.

For three days, the Festival will give a rare chance for Cornish audiences to see a selection of some of the best British and international fiction and documentary films that have been screened at the most prestigious film festivals around the world: Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Sundance and South By South West Film Festivals, among others.

Programming the Festival is the most thrilling and challenging element of my job and this year I have gravitated towards films that make you think or feel something, as well as providing an insight into different cultures and ways of life.” Said festival director, Tiffany Holmes. “My aim with the Festival programme is to bring films to Cornwall that would not otherwise be screened here and to really celebrate extraordinary filmmaking, people and ideas. With short films galore, a diverse programme of feature films and documentaries, as well as hands on filmmaking workshops and discussions, I hope that audiences of all ages and backgrounds will find something to get excited about at this year’s Festival.”

OVERVIEW MAIN NEWQUAY PROGRAMME – 8th – 10th November, Lighthouse Cinema, Newquay

This year’s selection will include 22 feature films, 100+ short films, a special workshop day for young people, live Q&As with directors and producers, industry talks with professionals from the British Film Institute and Sheffield Documentary Festival among other institutions, gala receptions and other exciting events.

Among the special guests at the festival, we will be welcoming Mark Kermode, who will be playing with his band The Dodge Brothers, Andy Heathcote and Heike Bachelier, the directors of the documentary The Moo-Man, and Mike Hewett, the producer of the much talked-about documentary Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer.

FUTURE FILM PROGRAMME PREVIEW – FICTION – 8th – 10th November, Lighthouse Cinema, Newquay

The Festival has put together a selection of some of the best British and International fiction films from international festivals, and here are some of them:

The Great Beauty (2013, Italy, dir. Paolo Sorrentino) was part of the official Selection of the Cannes Film Festival and was also shown at the Toronto International Film Festival. A portrait of today’s Rome, it is the story of an aging writer who recollects his passionate, lost youth.

The Telegraph wrote: “The Great Beauty is a shimmering coup de cinema to make your heart burst. (…) Sorrentino’s picture sets out to explain Rome today, as city, mindset and belief system.”

 Little White Lies wrote: “A simply breathtaking work of art with a very human, intensely cinematic heart.”

Acclaimed British filmmaker Mike Leigh, Patron of Cornwall Film Festival, hand picked this film for the Festival saying: “The Great Beauty is an epic, cinematic, rambling, sexy, exotic, human study.  It is moving and shocking, and will certainly bring a little welcome spice to a cold Cornish winter.”

Another film that has gathered awards all around the world, and a sure crowd-pleaser, is Prince Avalanche (2013, USA, Dir. David Gordon Green), an American indie film that won the silver bear at Berlin Film Festival, and that was shown at Sundance and South by South West.

Driven by striking performances from Paul Rudd (Knocked Up, Wanderlust) and Emile Hirsch (Into The Wild), Prince Avalanche is an offbeat comedy about two men painting traffic lines on a desolate country highway that’s been ravaged by wildfire. Against this dramatic setting, the men bicker and joke with each other, eventually developing an unlikely friendship. Funny, meditative and at times surreal, Prince Avalanche features a score by Explosions in the Sky and David Wingo, and was shot by frequent Green collaborator Tim Orr.


The festival will show some of the best recent British films, among which:

The Selfish Giant (2013, UK, Dir. Clio Barnard) was selected as part of the Director’s Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival, and is directed by Clio Barnard, the new British director to watch, after her critically acclaimed The Arbor (shown at CFF in 2010).

Inspired by Oscar Wilde’s story of the same name, The Selfish Giant is a contemporary fable about two teenage boys who get caught up in the world of copper theft.

The film tells the story of 14-year-old Arbor (Conner Chapman) and his best friend Swifty (Shaun Thomas). Excluded from school and outsiders in their own community, the boys meet Kitten (Sean Gilder), a local scrapman, and begin collecting scrap metal for him using a horse and cart. Swifty has a natural gift with horses and Arbor has a business brain and a way with words – they make a good team. But when Arbor begins to emulate Kitten by becoming greedy and exploitative, tensions build, leading to a tragic event which transforms them all irrevocably.

“Britain has found a new director to be proud of” – Kate Muir, The Times

“A heart-wrenching movie…cements Barnard’s reputation as one of Britain’s best filmmakers” – Peter Bradshaw, the Guardian

FUTURE FILM PROGRAMME PREVIEW – DOCUMENTARIES – 8th – 10th November, Lighthouse Cinema, Newquay

The Festival is very excited to be showing a large selection of documentaries – films that show the world in a different light.

Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer (2013, UK, dir. Mike Lerner & Maxim Pozdorovkin) will be shown followed by a live Q&A with producer Mike Hewett.

Filmed over the course of 6 months, this documentary tells the incredible story of three young women: Nadia, Masha and Katia. Who is really on trial in a case that has gripped the nation and the world beyond – young artists or the society they live in?

Feminist art collective Pussy Riot, donning their colourful trademark balaclavas, or ski masks, participated in a 40-second punk prayer protest on the altar of Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral before being detained. Arrested and tried for trespassing, wearing inappropriate sleeveless dresses and disrupting social order, Nadia, Masha and Katia were accused of religious hatred in a trial that reverberated around the world and transformed the face of Russian society.

An official selection of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, where it received the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Punk Spirit Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer tells their story with exclusive interviews and unprecedented access to courtroom footage. The film highlights the forces that transformed these women from playful political activists to modern-day icons, exposing the state of Russian justice in the modern era.

Screening accompanied by a Live Q&A with the producer, Mike Hewett

The Moo Man (2012, UK, Andy Heathcote) is an incredibly touching and simple British film that has taken international festivals by storm.

Premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, Sundance director John Cooper said of the film: “I have kind of a crazy favourite, a film I watched and just couldn’t shake until the end. It’s a documentary called The Moo Man about a dairy farmer in England. I found it to be such a beautiful story, really touching. It’s probably not something that most people would rush to, but I found it really special.”

The film was also shown at the Berlin Film festival to great critical acclaim.

The film focusses on a small dairy farm run by Steve Hook, which produces and sells raw, unpasteurised organic milk. Near Hailsham, Sussex, Longleys Farm is situated on the Pevensey Levels. The farm was started by Steve’s father Phil, who is still involved in the business, and who also features in the film, along with Steve’s wife and four children. The film covers Steve’s struggles to keep the 55-head-herd farm afloat in the face of the power of the supermarkets, and shows his close relationship with his cows, especially Ida, a 12-year-old Friesian. The documentary was filmed over four years.

Screening accompanied by a Live Q&A with the filmmakers Andy Heathcote and Heike Bachelier and farmer Steve Hook.

Pandora’s promise (2012, Robert Stone) is a controversial documentary by Academy Ward nominated Robert Stone, who once was an anti-nuclear activist, and in which he shows how he became pro-nuclear.

The atomic bomb and meltdowns like Fukushima have made nuclear power synonymous with global disaster. But what if we’ve got nuclear power wrong? An audience favourite at the Sundance Film Festival, Pandora’s Promise asks whether the one technology we fear most could save our planet from a climate catastrophe, while providing the energy needed to lift billions of people in the developing world out of poverty.

In his controversial new film, Stone tells the intensely personal stories of environmentalists and energy experts who have undergone a radical conversion from being fiercely anti to strongly pro-nuclear energy, risking their careers and reputations in the process.

Robert Stone was firmly against nuclear power, and one his previous films include the Oscar-nominated “Radio Bikini” (1988), which examined the devastating effect of nuclear-bomb testing in the Pacific, and “Earth Days,” a 2009 documentary honouring environmentalism in the United States.

A Skype Q&A will accompany this screening with director Robert Stone and a live panel discussion with representatives from The Eden Project, Exeter University and Cornwall’s Transition Network.

The Unbelievers (2013, dir. Gus Holwerda) is a refreshing documentary in which great scientists explain their atheist position. The film follows evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss across the globe as they speak publicly to sold-out halls, advancing a thoughtful dialogue about the importance of science and reason in the modern world.

Dawkins, the world’s most famous atheist, and Krauss, director of the esteemed Origins Project, are dedicated to furthering the (r)evolutionary idea that science, above all else, should inform man’s understanding of the universe. Filmmaker Gus Holwerda follows these “rock stars of reason” as they embark on a most modern crusade to encourage people to cast off antiquated ideologies and assume a purely rational approach to important current issues.

The film includes interviews with Ricky Gervais, Cameron Diaz, Stephen Hawking, Woody Allen and Werner Herzog, all fans of the scientists.


Aside from the main festival events that will be taking place on 8-10 Nov at the Lighthouse Cinema in Newquay, special side events will be taking place in Redruth and Newquay prior to the festival. Certain events are still being planned, but we have outlined below all the events that are already confirmed.

SCREEN ACTIONS: Thu 7 Nov, Lighthouse Cinema, Newquay

After its resounding success in 2012, Cornwall Film Festival is very excited to announce the return of Screen Actions, in partnership with Falmouth University, on Thursday 7th November 2013, between 9.45am and 3.15pm the Lighthouse Cinema, in Newquay.

Taking place one day before the start of the main film festival, Screen Actions is a full day of film and media workshops for young people, and it is a unique opportunity for young film enthusiasts to meet industry professionals, to get their films shown on the big screen, and to mix with other film fans in a professional setting. 

REDRUTH MINI FILM FESTIVAL: Sat 26 Oct, The Regal Cinema – Afternoon and Evening

On Sat 26 Oct, Cornwall Film Festival will be holding a mini film festival, comprising a whole afternoon of short film screenings and filmmaking workshops in Redruth, and the day will finish with the screening of the enthralling British documentary The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology (2012, UK, dir. Sophie Fiennes).

The documentary is based around cultural theorist superstar Slavoj Žižek (who had previously worked with Sophie Fiennes on The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema) and in which he analyses some truly epochal movies to explore and expose how they reinforce prevailing ideologies. As the ideology that undergirds our cinematic fantasies is revealed, striking associations emerge: what hidden Catholic teachings lurk at the heart of The Sound of Music? What are the fascist political dimensions of Jaws? Taxi Driver, Zabriskie Point, The Searchers, The Dark Knight, John Carpenter’s They Live (“one of the forgotten masterpieces of the Hollywood Left”), Titanic, Kinder Eggs, verité news footage, Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” and propaganda epics from Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia all inform Žižek’s stimulating, provocative and often hilarious psychoanalytic-cinematic rant.

Background on the Cornwall Film Festival (8-10 Nov 2013)

Cornwall Film Festival is a regional film festival with an international programme.

The Festival is now in its twelfth year and is developing a year round programme of activity to promote Cornish, international, independent and specialised cinema to new audiences and to support a diverse range of filmmaking and media production.

It is an annual celebration of Cornish and international filmmaking. The Festival offers local and national premieres, professional development workshops, lectures and parties, providing the opportunity to network with the UK’s leading industry professionals.

The Festival Patron is acclaimed British filmmaker Mike Leigh.

The full programme for this year’s festival will be announced on Wednesday 16th October 2013.

For more information about Screen Actions, or to find out how to enter a short film, please

Contact: Festival Director, Tiffany Holmes | 01209 204655 | 07791 630 667

Please note: the complete programme will be announced on 16th October, with tickets on sale on the 18th.

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