Derby Film Festival hosts special guests

Picture by Dean Stockings

A host of special guests, film previews and events as well as over 50 feature films will be part of  Derby Film Festival this month. 

Actress and singer Toyah Willcox will discuss her career in film and television; Sir John Hurt’s widow, Anwen, will introduce a preview screening of That Good Night – Hurt’s final leading role; and television director Mandie Fletcher will tell anecdotes about her career involving classics, from Butterflies and Blackadder to Only Fools And Horses, and Absolutely Fabulous. 

Exclusive film previews will include: Redoubtable, from the Oscar winning director of The Artist; L’Amant Double, the latest release from French auteur director François Ozon; Jeune Femme, the debut film of director Léonor Serraille; Edie, starring Sheila Hancock; Ismael’s Ghosts, starring Marion Cotillard and Mathieu Almaric ; On Chesil Beach, adapted from the novel by Ian McEwan; The Suffering Of Ninko, from Japan, a unique tale which blends live action and animation; and The Bookshop, starring Emily Mortimer and Bill Nighy.

One film with local interest will be Portrait Of A Village – an affectionate portrayal of the semi-rural village  of Spondon – by local filmmaker Mark Rivers. It is a snapshot of life in modern Britain and explores the themes of home, community and belonging. 

A programme of short films, In Sign Languaage, curated and tailored specifically to the needs of D/deaf cinema-goers, will include Oscar-winning The Silent Child. 

This year the festival welcomes a new strand called Paracinema as part of the main event. Including horror, sci-fi and fantasy films, it will also be exploring other genres outside the mainstream.

Among the festival’s special events will be a screening of the silent vampire tale Nosferatu at Derby Cathedral, accompanied by a live score on the Cathedral’s Compton organ.

Closing the festival is the unique Five Lamps Films 24-hour Challenge, which is returning for its ninth year. Entrants will make a three-minute short in just 24 hours, over the weekend of May 5-6.
The screening  and prize ceremony takes place on May 13 at 8.15pm. 

For more information on how to take part please go to  

The Derby Film Festival runs from May 4-13 and all the events will be at QUAD except the screening of Nosferatu, which is on May 5 at 7.30pm.
Toyah will be in conversation on May 5 at 5pm; John Hurt’s That Good Night preview is on May 9 at 6.30pm and Mandie Fletcher can be seen on May 13 at 2pm. 

For full details of times and dates please click here.