Golden age of silver screen

Calamity Jane (1953) with Doris Day
Calamity Jane (1953) with Doris Day
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The Winter Gardens will host its third annual film festival, this weekend, with a packed programme between tomorrow and Sunday.

The festival will feature a diverse programme of black and white presentations in the Opera House and Derham Lounge, alongside social events, schools’ activities, guest speakers and for the first time, a competition for the best short film.

Tomorrow night will be the official opening, with a 7.15pm drinks reception, followed by a gala screening of You Were Never Lovelier. There will also be an option to attend the 1940’s style swing party afterwards with music for dancing from The Billionaires band.

There’s more live music on Saturday with a new take on two classic horror films. Acclaimed ensemble Minima perform their unique soundtrack to the 1925 horror Phantom of the Opera, while the Lancaster Millennium Choir will present a highly entertaining, interpretation of Frankenstein in abridged form. The day’s line-up also includes Buster Keaton short films, British favourite Kind Hearts and Coronets, Japanese crime drama Rashomon and Oscar-nominated South American film Embrace of the Serpent.

Sunday will see the first winner of the Festival’s Golden Seagull awards with the screenings and awards in the short film competition.

Feature presentations are 1927 film Sunrise and a preview screening of the award-winning Finnish film The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki.

The Festival will also host an ‘exception to the rule’ colour film on Sunday; a sing-along version of the 1953 musical Calamity Jane (pictured) in association with Blackpool Pride Festival to celebrate LBGT History Month.

Festival director Catherine Mugonyi said: “We’ve been working hard to create a diverse programme for 2017 and we feel that there is something for everyone. This year’s film competition is truly international, we have attracted entries from across the globe - as far afield as Japan, Canada and Iran. Along with all the volunteers, I can’t wait to welcome people into this truly amazing space to experience and share great film.” Tickets for individual screenings are on-sale now through the website or from the venue during the Festival. A wristband for the full programme of events is also available, priced at £40.