NEWS: Whitley Bay Film Festival | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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The 8th annual Whitley Bay Film Festival is finally set to return this month, bringing with it a whole host of cinematic treats. The festival, which runs from Thursday 10th August until Sunday 3rd September, was set up in 2010 by Primate Productions: alongside a small group of avid film enthusiasts, Primate set out to stage something extraordinary in their seaside town, organising a screening of Jaws on the local beach. Nowadays, the Festival is a much bigger affair with an admirable reputation (with an award for best event Tyneside!). It maintains a grassroots approach to programming and is always looking for new and innovative ways to approach their cultural events.

For the very first time, the Festival will take a short excursion out of its seaside home in form of The Cinema Years – three days of special events at the Tyne Theatre and Opera House in Newcastle City Centre. Audiences will be encouraged to remember the Stoll Picture Theatre, a cinema that called the Tyne Theatre home for over 50 years, as the Grade I listed Tyne Theatre and Opera House on Westgate Road celebrates its 150th anniversary. The Stoll was the first cinema in Newcastle to show “talkies”, screening films from 1919-1974. This exciting new venture for the Festival will kick off on Friday 11th August with a talk by Senior Lecturer in Film at Newcastle University, Dr Andrew Shail, about the history of cinema, and will be followed by a whole host of screenings of classic films alongside workshops, Q&As and live performances across the three days.

Highlights will include a talk with Chris Phipps, author of the brilliant Forget Carter: Newcastle on Film and Television, who will be taking audiences on a tour of Newcastle’s big and small screen heritage, uncovering some hidden gems and featuring well-loved classics like Auf Wiedersehen Pet. Chris’s talk will be followed by a screening of one of the films mentioned in his talk, The Clouded Yellow (1950), a British mystery film considered to be the first example of British film noir. On Saturday 12th August there will be a screening of 1933 classic King Kong, which will include The Monster Animation Workshop hosted by award winning animator Sheila Graber and hosted by producer Steve Drayton (of Mr Drayton’s Record Player fame, of course).

The Festival will also see the return of ArtHouses, running on the weekend of the 19th and 20th August, two summer evenings during which the houses of Victoria Avenue become contemporary visual arts venues open to all. ArtHouses offers artists new ways of working outside the contexts and restraints of the traditional gallery space, and offers audiences the chance to see contemporary art in a unique setting.

So, whether it’s cinematic history, filmmaking or the movies themselves that float your boat, this seaside festival is not to be missed!

Whitley Bay film Festival will be taking place in various venues across Whitley Bay & Newcastle from Thursday 10th August until Sunday 3rd September.

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