Derby Film Festival 2015 Preview

by Elliot Davies

Derby Quad by Matt JonesWith over 90 films being shown across 10 days – 22 of which are previews, and one of which is a world premiere – the 2015 Derby Film Festival is set to be the biggest yet.

Their programme is so diverse that anyone who’s ever gazed awestruck at a silver screen is sure to find something that ticks their boxes. I’ve already drawn excited circles around numerous screenings, like I’m scouring the special double Radio Times in the days before Christmas: The Stone Tape! Blow Up! Blow Out!

But the real draw is the series of special events. Alluring all, they range from the inspiring to the irresistible. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights, shall we?

Five Lamps Films 24 Hour Challenge!

On Saturday 2nd May, Five Lamps Films will start a clock. Entrants will then have 24 hours – no more, no less – in which to shoot, cut, and crop a film of three minutes in length – no more, no less. The results will be screened, for free, on Sunday 10th May at 20:00. What’s going to happen! If previous years’ entries are to be believed – all of which can be viewed on the FLF website – we can expect all manner of mayhem. Go unbridled creativity! FLF FTW!

The Radiophonic Workshop Live!

To be filed under “unmissable”, the Radiophonic Workshop – who were last seen being incredible at Glastonbury 2014 – will be playing at Derby Theatre on Friday 1st May.

With a collection of found sounds, treated pianos, and handmade synths, The Radiophonic Workshop were true electronic pioneers. They produced iconic soundtracks for such vintage BBC fare as Horizon, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Newsround, and some forgotten old show about a time traveller and his robot dog.

These days, The Radiophonic Workshop have a live show that closely resembles a bunch of wonderfully eccentric shed-dwellers conducting a strange series of experiments using inexplicable technology. It’s poignant, it’s thrilling, it’s soul-stirring, and it’s absolutely not to be missed. Ziwzih! Ziwzih! Oo! Oo! Oo! Oo!

Jenny Agutter in Conversation!

Star of such classic films as The Railway Children, Walkabout, Logan’s Run, and Equus, Jenny Agutter will be taking part in an onstage discussion of her career with writer and broadcaster Tony Earnshaw. A number of her films are also to be screened to honour her presence, including I Start Counting, and An American Werewolf In London, which you might recognise as one of the best films ever made.

Female Film Critics Panel!

Flavorwire know it, The BFI know it, and I think, deep down, that you know it too: the most compelling, original, and insightful voices in contemporary film criticism all belong to women. On Wednesday 6th May, Sight & Sound will assemble a panel of female film critics to discuss the history of female film critics. Speaking will be Sophie Mayer, Pamela Hutchinson, and Catherine Wheatley, whilst Sight & Sound production editor Isobel Stevens will chair. Glasses will be raised to the likes of C A Lejeune, Penelope Gilliatt, Dilys Powell, and bell hooks.

The Fantastiq Programme!

The gloriously gloomy gorehound minds of Fantastiq are curating a special programme of all things sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and cult! As well as the world premier of Peak District-based thriller Survival Instinct – which is followed by a cast and crew Q&A – they’re also screening such seldom seen curios as The Mangler, The Dead Zone, Hands of the Ripper, and Schizoid.

But that’s not all! There’s also a poster fair, a book launch or two, and live talks with Peter Sasdy, the director of Taste the Blood of Dracula, and Jake West, of Doghouse and Evil Aliens fame!

The Derby Film Festival takes place at venues across Derby – but mainly at The Quad – from 1st May to 10th May. See their website for ticket and pass details.