Purbeck Film Festival

THE country’s biggest rural film festival returns for its 22nd year to the Purbecks from 12th to 27th October, with a line-up of films from Ingmar Bergman to new releases, family favourites to dark dramas.

The opening weekend includes The Breadwinner, an inspiring animated film about a young girl in Afghanistan in 2001, and the new Glenn Close/Jonathan Price drama, The Wife, both at the Rex, Wareham, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, at Lytchett Matravers village hall, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society at Stoborough village hall, all on Saturday 13th.

On Sunday 14th, the Rex has Voyage a travers le Cinema Francais, Bertrand Tavernier’s personal journey through French cinema, and the first of a series of Bergman screenings, Wild Strawberries, is at Durlston Castle at Swanage.

The 29029 Restaurant at Sandford hosts its first Purbeck Film Festival event on Monday 15th – Mountain is an exploration of our obsessions with high places, with a score performed by the Australian Chamber Orchestra. The Rex has Bergman’s Smiles of a Summer Night, and historic Creech Grange Country House has Tom Jones, starring a young Albert Finney as the irresistible hero – part of the film was filmewd there.

Tuesday’s programme includes a joint event with the charity Diverse Abilities, screening Marvellous, the real life story of a man who overcomes his perceived limitations by force of his remarkable personality (starring Toby Jones). Durlston Castle is the venue for a screening of the Second World War adventure, The Cruel Sea.

Thursday’s films include Born To Be Blue with Ethan Hawke as the legendary trumpeter Chet Baker, at the Swanage Jazz Cafe, and the 1960 French crime drama Le Trou at the Rex.

The annual Purbeck Shorts competition screening is at the Rex on Friday 19th, when other films include Lady Bird at Hamworthy Library, and railway films at Harmans Cross.

Recently released films on screen during the festival include On Chesil Beach, The Mercy, Neruda, Lean On Pete, Edie, The Post, Loving Vincent, Darkest Hour and Finding Your Feet.

Other movie classics are Oscar Wilde’s Falstaff drama Chimes At Midnight, at the Rex on Monday 22nd, Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge at Creech Grange also on Monday, To Kill a Mocking Birtd at Holme for Gardens on Wednesday 24th, and Bergman’s The Seventh Seal, at Poole Lighthouse on Thursday 25th.

The festival closes at the Rex on Saturday 27th with In Between (Bar Bahar), the debut film for Arab-Israeli filmmaker Maysaloun Hamoud – and culturally a controversial feminist piece. It is an intriguing story about three very different Israeli Palestinian women who share an apartment in Tel Aviv and become bonded in a world of confusing and conflicting values on the uneven ground between traditional values and self-determination in a modern, urban landscape.

As always, there are also film workshops and talks – for the full programme visit ww.purbeckfilm.com

Pictured: Tom Jones, The Seventh Seal and Bar Bahar.