Shorts, features, guests galore at 25th Foyle fest
Have the good people at Derry’s Foyle Film Festival treated their 25th anniversary with blasé carelessness? They most certainly have not.As always, the Oscar-affiliated shorts season offers punters the best of alternative film-making from home and abroad, but the organisers have also managed to pack the 2012 event, which begins on Wednesday, with a fine array of feature premieres and appearances by special guests.
Festivities begin with the Irish premiere of Mat Whitecross’s British gangster flick Ashes. Ray Winstone and Jim Sturgess, the movie’s stars, will be in (honest, this is what it says in the programme) Derry~Londonderry to introduce the film.
Other Irish premieres include Thomas Vinterberg’s hugely involving The Hunt and the latest version of Great Expectations (will there be free vittles?). If you’re in the vicinity of the many-named city, also check out Ben Wheatley’s brilliant Sightseers and Andrea Arnold discussing her somewhat undervalued take on Wuthering Heights.
The Foyle Film Festival is emerging as the flagship of the Nerve Centre, an innovative institution that features a range of arts events, cutting- edge projects and training opportunities in (ahem) Derry~Londonderry and Belfast.
Festival director and programmer Bernie McLaughlin comments: “I am delighted and excited to be part of the 25th Foyle Film Festival celebrations. It is certainly a milestone year for the festival and a tremendous achievement for everyone associated with this event over the last quarter of a century.” foylefilmfestival.org.