INTERVIEW: Tyne Valley Film Festival | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Great White Silence

The Tyne Valley Film Festival is returning this year, bringing with it the delights of the rural cinema experience. Boasting 35 screenings in 17 venues across the Tyne Valley over 10 days, the festival will run from Friday 18th-Sunday 27th March. 

Bringing rural film clubs, venues and organisations together to champion the film buff community, David Nixon, manager of Forum Cinema Hexham and founder of the festival explains: “After the uncertainty of the past two years, we’re delighted to be relaunching the festival in March. Our mission at the Forum is ‘to create community through film experiences’ and Tyne Valley Film

Festival really encompasses that. We are proud to be able to support all of these great film clubs and community organisations to help them bring the best films from around the world directly to rural communities across the region.”

With films spanning 1912 to 2022, Ryton to Haltwhistle, the festival kicks off on Friday 18th with a ‘party screening’ of David Byrne’s American Utopia. The ‘party’ part is freedom of movement, with Hexham’s Forum Cinema playing the movie in its auditorium and bar simultaneously, celebrating both music and cinema. 

One of the highlights of the festival leads us to Hexham Abbey, where on Saturday 19th silent classic, The Phantom of the Opera, will be accompanied by a live organ score from Jonathon Eyre in an immersive and haunting screening within the walls and pews of the gothic edifice. 

We are proud to be able to support all of these great film clubs and community organisations to help them bring the best films from around the world directly to rural communities across the region

Homage will be paid to the first female filmmaker, Alice Guy-Blaché, on Sunday 20th as Forum Cinema investigates her work and life, illustrating how vital her work is to the history of cinema. 

To mark the 1900th anniversary of the construction of Hadrian’s Wall, on both Sunday 20th and Sunday 27th, the Northumberland National park team at The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre will screen the archive film, The Living Wall. The film documents life on the wall in the 1970s in a glimpse of the past and the continuing fascination of a wall that once divided us. Along a similar vein, Wednesday 23rd will see Forum Cinema screen archive films of Hexham and Tynedale to marvel at the progression, changes and constants of life in the area. 

Hexham & District Photography Society will screen the rare Gregory Crewdson film, Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounter, at Forum Cinema Hexham on Wednesday 23rd. Granting access over a decade, the film bears witness to the photographer’s psyche and process, all while revelling in the beauty of his art.

Tyne Valley Film Festival includes so many more wonderful screenings, including French New Wave, shorts, Captain Scott’s South Pole expedition, railway comedies, Saturday Night Fever, Limbo and Bambi. The festival promises an inclusive and collaborative event, with all of the bases of cinema covered. There is something for everyone, from art lovers to motorcycle enthusiasts; children to old souls. 

Tyne Valley Film Festival takes place from Friday 18th-Sunday 27th March at various venues across the Tyne Valley.

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