Keswick's much-loved film festival is back again for its 21st year with another host of excellent films lined up, including three of Sight and Sound Magazine's top five films of 2019 (Parasite, The Souvenir and Portrait of a Lady on Fire). Whether you're a film buff or an occasional movie-goer, there's something for everyone at this year's festival, which runs from the 27th of February to the 1st of March 2020.
Book your stay close to the screenings at one of our holiday cottages in Keswick.
Opening the 21st Keswick Film Festival is this quintessentially British film that celebrates family and childhood. The Runaways was originally pitched to crowdfunders as "three children, two donkeys, one big adventure" and tells the story of siblings Angie, Polly and Ben and their journey across the Yorkshire Dales in search of their mother after their father dies. Director Richard Heap will also be at the screening to answer questions about his debut feature film.
Director: Richard Heap
Starring: Molly Windsor, Mark Addy, Tara Fitzgerald
Screening: The Alhambra, 27th Feb, 7.30pm
The Run + Nicky Spinks - Bob Graham Round
This double-screening had to be included as part of this year's Keswick Film Festival thanks to its Cumbrian connections! Richard Heap follows Nicky Spinks as she attempts the famous Bob Graham Round, a Lake District fell running challenge named for a Keswick guest-house owner. It will be shown following The Run, another running documentary by Anupam Sharma that records Australian Pat Farmer's inspiring journey across the length of India: 85 kilometres a day for 64 days!
Screening: Theatre by the Lake, 28th Feb, 12.30pm
The Personal History of David Copperfield
Based on the beloved novel by Charles Dickens, The Personal History of David Copperfield is a hilarious, family-friendly film with a stellar cast of British actors. Dev Patel takes the title role and meets a host of colourful characters throughout his life, including the likes of Tilda Swinton's donkey-hating Betsey Trotwood, the childish Mr. Dick (Hugh Laurie) and Ben Whishaw's "umble" Uriah Heep.
Director: Armando Iannucci
Starring: Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Ben Whishaw
Screening: The Alhambra, 29th Feb, 11am
Bill Nighy makes an appearance at the Keswick Film Festival for the second year in a row, this time alongside BAFTA award-winner Annette Bening. When Jamie (Josh O'Connor) returns to his seaside hometown to visit his parents (Bening and Nighy), the three must deal with the aftermath of Nighy's surprise ending of a 29-year marriage. Bittersweet and touching, Hope Gap is bound to have you both laughing and crying!
Director: Joanna Hogg
Starring: Annette Bening, Bill Nighy
Screening: The Alhambra, 29th Feb, 6.15pm
The first South Korean film to have ever won the Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival, Parasite is a darkly-comic thriller about the lives of two families at different ends of the social spectrum. The impoverished Kims gradually work their way into the luxurious lives of the Parks, feeling their luck changing until they become embroiled in an unexpected incident.
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Starring: Kang-ho Song, Sun-kyun Lee, Yeo-jeong Jo
Screening: The Alhambra, 29th Feb, 9pm
Dance of the Seven Veils
An exciting event, Keswick Film Festival's showing of Dance of the Seven Veils by Ken Russell is significant as the first public showing in 50 years! The controversial film saw the end of Russell's association with the BBC and had its music rights withdrawn by the family of Richard Strauss immediately after airing in 1970. Outraging viewers, the film, which is an extreme and deriding picture of Strauss, has only been available to see in its intended state since 2019 when The Blue Danube composer's copyright expired. The screening of the film will also include a discussion with Lisi Russell and the showing of a number of rarely-seen music videos that Russell recorded for the likes of Elton John, Sarah Brightman and Cliff Richard.
Director: Ken Russell
Screening: Theatre by the Lake, 29th February, 9pm
This insightful documentary gets close and personal with Imelda Marcos who, together with her husband Ferdinand, stockpiled assets worth an estimated $5-10 billion from the Filipino people. A terrifying real-life story of entitlement, corruption, and power, this eye-opening feature also examines the improbable return to power of the infamous Marcos family.
Director: Lauren Greenfield
Screening: The Alhambra, 1st March, 11.15am
Starring real-life mother and daughter duo Tilda Swinton and Honor Swinton Byrne, The Souvenir is a story of first love that follows the relationship between privileged Julie and Anthony, an older man who is not all he seems. Described as "a masterful portrait ...of... love as an addiction" by the Toronto Star, it is a drama that will have you on the edge of your seat and seeking clues to solve the mystery.
Director: William Nicholson
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Honor Swinton Byrne,
Screening: Theatre by the Lake, 1st March, 5pm
With an all-star cast, the Keswick Film Festival's final showing on 2020 is bound to have you in floods of tears by the end! Suffering from ALS and preparing to end her life on her own terms, Lily (Susan Sarandon), invites her closest friends and family for a final goodbye celebration. Things are made more complicated by the arrival of Lily's two daughters (Kate Winslet and Mia Wasikowska), who are both struggling with personal issues and the news of their mother's imminent death.
Director: Roger Michell
Starring: Kate Winslet, Susan Sarandon, Sam Neill, Mia Wasikowska
Screening: The Alhambra, 1st Mar, 8pm
We are proud to be able to support the Keswick Film Festival as a sponsor for the third year running. Why not come along for a week or weekend of movie magic amongst the beautiful scenery of the Lake District? You can browse all of our self-catering cottages in Keswick and across Cumbria for your perfect break.
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