Features / Film

AMPLIFY! online film festival launches this Friday!

Four of the UK’s largest film festivals have come together to create AMPLIFY! – an exciting online film festival launching this Friday, 6 November!

This exciting first-of-its-kind initiative has been co-curated by FilmBath, CINECITY (Brighton), Cambridge and Cornwall Film Festivals for the purpose of giving everyone something to look forward to in these challenging times.

The new initiative, featuring c60 events, boasts a varied and entertaining programme for everyone and anyone across the country looking for things to do at home during the latest lockdown. Blasting brilliant new cinema directly into homes across the UK, AMPLIFY!’s online film festival (November 6–22) presents distinctive features, a free shorts programme, hot topic docs, engaging Q&As and industry events.

Programme highlights include over 25 UK premieres such as Viggo Mortensen’s directorial debut Falling, a Cannes 2020 official selection fresh off its successful screening at San Sebastian International Film Festival, where Mortensen was honoured with the Donostia Award for his work. Following its Sundance Film Festival screening earlier this year, Luxor, starring Andrea Riseborough, hits the UK screen along with Patrick (De Patrick), which casts Flight Of The Conchords’s Jemaine Clement in a Belgian dark comedy about a nudist camp.

Other UK premiere highlights explore what it means to be human in Robolove; a journey into adulthood in I never cry; an outsiders view of Brexit Britain in Cat in the wall; and a drama about a women trying to find a pretend husband in Open Door. Here’s a load more:

Also included in the programme is the eerie and stylish slow-burn psychological thriller, Rose plays Julie, directed by Joe Lawlor and Catherine Molloy and starring Aiden Gillen (Game of Thrones), Orla Brady and Ann Skelly. The audience favourite at Tribeca Film Festival, Asia, is a wrenching portrayal of maternal love. Shira Haas (Netflix’s Unorthodox) stars as Vika, a teenager whose relationship with her mother, Asia (Alena Yiv), is less than ideal. Haas’s performance has been described as devastating and hypnotising, while director Ruthy Pribar, in her debut feature, avoids the standard heart-wrenching finale to create something wonderfully true.

The Documentary strand includes Chilean film The Mole Agent, winner of San Sebastian International Film Festival’s Audience Award for Best European Film, and Caught in the Net, a compelling story of a virtual flytrap set for online paedophiles.

The Cambridge Film Festival brings its immensely popular Camera Catalonia strand to AMPLIFY!, featuring a great selection of new films from Catalonia, and includes the UK premieres of La Inocència (The Innocence), Keith Haring 1989 Barcelona and My Mexican Bretzel.

Audiences have the opportunity to see six short programmes for free, including the prestigious IMDb Awards from FilmBath; Cornwall’s International shorts programme and South West best regional shorts; as well as CINECITY’s New Voices – a collection of regional shorts made by 16 to 25-year-olds, supported by Screen and Film School Brighton. I Still Breathe is London-based filmmaker Alfred George Bailey’s response to the death of George Floyd and features a score from composer Nicky Brown and Academy Award-winning sound designer John Warhurst. Interdependence is an anthology of 11 short films that respond to and humanise the climate crisis.

In addition to a comprehensive programme of features and short films, AMPLIFY! also delivers a range of director Q&As, workshops, and networking events including a roundtable discussion with noted journalist Charles Gant entitled Distribution In Uncertain Times; a Q&A with German director-producer Jens Meurer following the UK Premiere of An Impossible Project and hosted by Bill Lawrence, former Creative Director at Showroom Cinema and Head of Film at the National Museum of Photography; a casting panel hosted by Backstage Magazine; and a LIM (Less Is More) script development talk supported by Creative Europe and a number of other events supported by the UK-wide talent development programme BFI NETWORK, using funds from the National Lottery.

BFI London Film Festival Director Tricia Tuttle said:

“AMPLIFY! is a fantastic initiative by some of the country’s top film festivals. We’ve all been keeping in close contact over the last months, sharing information on the challenges and strategies for planning film festivals in a pandemic. These festivals do such important work in getting independent films to audiences, championing underrepresented voices — films from female and LGBTIQ+ filmmakers from around the world and from diverse backgrounds. This year has seen so much great collaboration between festivals and it’s an absolute pleasure to see them combining forces for the good of audiences and filmmakers. I will be settling down after my own festival to watch some great work on the AMPLIFY! platform.”

Holly Tarquini and Philip Raby, the Co-Directors of FilmBath, said:

“The COVID crisis has threatened all of our organisations, so it’s an absolute joy to be able to work together and put on such a juicy online festival — with tons of Q&As and special events.” Tim Brown from CINECITY Brighton added, “Working with new partners in a completely new way is the best response to events and an exciting way to take audiences on new adventures in world cinema.”

Director of Cornwall Film Festival, Louise Fox believes AMPLIFY! will be a celebration.

“The joy of film sits at the heart of this year’s celebratory festival programme, a great example of how we can come together whilst being apart to be engaged and inspire our local and national audiences.”

Tony Jones and Matthew Webb from Cambridge Film Trust said:

“2020 would have marked the 40th Cambridge Film Festival and it is only right that during these times we are working, side by side, with our friends FilmBath, Brighton CINECITY, Cornwall Film Festival to offer an exciting film experience for you all. We hope to see you at AMPLIFY!”

AMPLIFY! is offering reduced ticket pricing for all 16–30-year-olds, as well as those who are unemployed, living on state pension alone, single parents, refugees, and students. Ticket pricing begins at £5 with full pricing information available on the website.

To view the full programme, please visit: www.amplifyfilm.org.uk

Twitter @amplifyfilm

Instagram @amplifyfilm

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