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Friday, 10 March 2023

Film Festival

Film Festival: Full programme now available

Highlights include:

  • Action comedy Polite Society, the feel-good hit of this year's Sundance festival
  • Lyra, an emotional, portrait of the life and death of Belfast journalist Lyra Mckee
  • A Good Person by Zach Braff, and starring Florence Pugh and Morgan Freeman
  • BAFTA-nominated British drama Blue Jean
  • A range of international titles including Winners which won the Audience Award at Edinburgh International Film Festival

Hebden Bridge Film Festival (HBFF) has unveiled its full 2023 line-up, which features a host of award-winning and critically acclaimed international and homegrown films, including three UK premieres. 

Taking place in the town from 24th to 26th March, the festival will include a diverse selection of documentaries, dramas, comedies, shorts and feature films by filmmakers from all over the world, many of which have already seen success at some of the world's leading festivals, such as Sundance, Toronto and Cannes. 

Alongside the screenings, festival goers will have the opportunity to attend Q&A sessions and panel discussions with special guests, including film directors, actors, writers and producers.

One of the highlights of this year's festival is British action comedy Polite Society, (see above) which "radiates fizzy delight, showing audiences a breezy good time", according to Screen Daily. 

The feel-good hit of this year's Sundance, Polite Society follows martial arts obsessed teenage Ria Khan who believes she must save her older sister Lena from her impending marriage. The screening is being hosted in partnership with Bradford Literature Festival and will be followed by a Q&A with Syima Aslam MBE, Director, Bradford Literature Festival, plus special guests. 

The festival will showcase ground-breaking documentary filmmaking from around the world, including the multi-award winning Lyra, an emotional, intimate portrait of the life and death of Belfast journalist Lyra Mckee who was shot dead in 2019 while covering a riot in Derry. Director Alison Millar, Producer Jackie Doyle and Sara Canning, Lyra's partner, will join the festival for a special Q&A.  

HBFF will feature the UK premieres of documentaries When the Camera Stopped Rolling, Clarissa's Battleand Destiny, which will each be followed by Q&A's with special guests; as well as Fashion Reimagined about fashion's impact on the environment, which will also include a panel with special guests.

Featuring an all-star cast is A Good Person, (see above) written and directed by Zach Braff, and starring Florence Pugh and Morgan Freeman, and British drama Nobody Has to Know stars Michelle Fairley (Game of Thrones). 

International titles coming to the festival include Winners, set in a small provincial Iranian town, which will befollowed by a Q&A with Producer, Nadira Murray and Saeed Zeydabadi-Nejad, Research Fellow, SOAS University of London. The film won the Audience Award at Edinburgh International Film Festival and was the UK submission to the 2023 Oscars for Best International Feature Film.

Other international titles include Lingui, the Sacred Bondsone of the best-reviewed movies of the year; Utama, winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival, which follows a couple's life herding llamas in the Bolivian highlands, and Moroccan titleThe Blue Caftan,whichhas been winning prizes at film festivals across the globe. 

BAFTA-nominated British drama Blue Jean, which follows a lesbian PE teacher forced to live a double life in the wake of Section 28, will be followed by a Q&A with actor Kerrie Hayes and producer Hélène Sifre, as well as Catherine Lee and Sarah Squires, who inspired the story.

Other highlights of the HBFF 2023 programme include: 

  • Filmmaking masterclass," Empowering Communities with Film", with documentary filmmaker Anne Marie Carty, exploring the complexities of co-producing film with communities. 
  • StoryTrails, a free virtual reality experience that brings stories to life using augmented and virtual reality technologies, available for all to access at Hebden Bridge Town Hall throughout the festival. 
  • HBFF's annual Short Film Competition, sponsored by local businesses, Vocation & Co and The Fox and Goose, plus feature Film competition sponsored by DP Squared.
  • Vocation Brewery's special beer for the festival - the 'Hope and Resistance' pale ale, which will be available to purchase at all screenings as well as in can and on keg at Vocation & Co and other pubs in Hebden Bridge throughout the festival. 
  • Short film Incompatibledirected by festival Patron Maxine Peake and filmed locally around Hebden Bridge, followed by a Q&A with Maxine Peake and fellow Incompatible cast and crew members. 

Hebden Bridge Festival Director, Louise Wadley, says: "We are thrilled to be back in person this year with a very exciting and diverse line-up that celebrates the power of filmmaking. We're lucky to have some of the best reviewed, award-winning, highly anticipated films of the year, with up-and-coming talent as well as big name stars like Florence Pugh. 

"With the cost-of-living crisis and increasing inequality all around us, the theme of 'Hope and Resistance' seemed very fitting this year. Our programme offers audiences the chance to gain new perspectives from groups and individuals around the world who are holding onto hope and fighting back. 

"The Calder Valley is a unique place with a real sense of community. I hope that people will come and join us, be inspired by the films and enjoy being at one of the friendliest film festivals there is!" 

To view the full programme and buy tickets, visitwww.hebdenbridgefilmfestival.org