Cambridge Film Festival

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Cambridge Film Festival
Cambridge Film Festival
Cambridge Film Festival logo
Status Active
Genre Film festival
Date(s) Eleven days in Autumn
Frequency Annually
Venue Arts Picturehouse Cambridge
Location(s) Cambridge
Country England
Years active 46
Inaugurated 1977 (1977)

The Cambridge Film Festival is the third longest running film festival in the UK. The festival historically took place during early July, but now takes place annually during August and September (3rd Sep - 13th Sep in 2015) in Cambridge.

Established in 1977 and re-launched in 2001 after a 5-year hiatus, the Cambridge Film Festival shows a range of UK and international films that debuted at leading film festivals, including the Cannes Film Festival and Berlin Film Festival, as well as hosting UK premieres of films, alongside a broad range of specialist interest, archive, and retrospective strands. All films are open to the public to watch.

Each year the Festival awards audience awards to the Best Feature (The Golden Punt Award), Best Documentary (Silver Punt Award), and Best Short Film (Crystal Punt Award).


The Cambridge Film Festival is a celebration of film - past, present and future that prides itself on showing film from all over the world from all different kinds of filmmakers.

The Festival has a long running relationship with Woody Allen which has seen him offer the UK premieres of many of his films, including Crimes and Misdemeanors, Midnight in Paris, Blue Jasmine and in 2014, Magic in the Moonlight which marked the Woody Allen's 20th preview at the Cambridge Film Festival.

Other UK premieres at the Festival have included Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs in 1992, Pirates of the Caribbean starring Jonny Depp, and Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers with Bill Murray.

The Festival also has touring events across the Eastern region of England including Norwich, Ipswich and Ely. Notably in 2006 the Festival held an outdoors screening of A Cock and Bull Story at Felbrigg Hall, one of that film’s shooting locations.

In 2006 the Cambridge Film Trust was launched, a new charity aiming to support and promote the film festival and film culture in Cambridge.

File:CFF2014 Q&A with Bill Lawrence.jpg
Bill Lawrence hosting a Q&A at 34th Cambridge Film Festival 2014

2015 programme

The 35th Cambridge Film Festival runs from 3–13 September.

2014 programme

The 34th Cambridge Film Festival ran from 28 August - 7 September.

The Festival's opening films included Magic in the Moonlight which marked the 20th Woody Allen preview at the Festival, and the premiere of The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq

Film Categories and Strands

The Festival programme is divided up into strands. Some of these strands will reoccur each year, and others provide a special focus on a filmmaker for that year.

  • Opening Films
  • Main Features
  • Retrospectives
  • Contemporary German
  • Retro 3-D
  • Camera Catalonia
  • Short Fusion
  • Family Film Festival
  • Surprise Films

Opening Films Strand

The Opening Film Strand is a recurring strand and includes the one or two films shown on the Opening Night

Main Features Strand

The Main Features Strand is a recurring strand and includes all feature and documentary films not included in other strands

Retrospective Strands

The Retrospective Strands are reoccurring strands that highlight the work of an influential filmmaker. The 2014 programme included retrospectives on Gerhard Lamprecht, Lionel Rogosin and Dylan Thomas.

Contemporary German Strand

The Contemporary German Strand is a recurring strand that also includes Contemporary German shorts. The strand is designed to showcase established and new talent from new German Cinema.

Retro 3-D Strand

The Retro 3-D Strand in 2014 showcased the newly digitally restored 3-D classics from the '50s including The Creature From The Black Lagoon, House of Wax, Inferno, and The Mad Magician.

Camera Catalonia Strand

The Camera Catalonia Strand appeared for the third time in 2014 to showcase Catalan cinema.

Short Fusion Strand

The Short Fusion Strand is a recurring strand that showcases the best in contemporary short films from all over the world.

The Family Film Festival Strand

The Family Film Festival is a recurring strand in the Cambridge Film Festival Programme that started in the 30th Cambridge Film Festival in 2010. The strand includes children's films, TV shows and workshops. Previous years have featured films such as: The Gruffalo, Frozen (2013 film) and Monsters University, as well as workshops in slapstick filmmaking, and a sneak preview of the 3D restoration of The Lion King in 2011.

Surprise Films

The Surprise Films are films where the audience buys a ticket to the show without knowing anything about it. Previous Surprise Films included: Up!, Pirates of the Caribbean, A Cock and Bull Story, Burn After Reading, and Looper.


The Festival takes place in Cambridge’s three-screened Arts Picturehouse, a local arts cinema run by Picturehouse. Since 2005 the Festival has expanded to take in other formal arts venues such as the nearby The Light Cinema Cambridge (Previously Cambridge Cineworld multiplex), arts venue The Junction, and Sawston Cinema, as well as interesting non traditional venues such as pedestrianised Cambridge streets, local churches and the colleges of the University. Some special outdoor screenings are held each year, most notably the Movies on the Meadows screenings at Grantchester Meadows shown on an inflatable screen.

Movies on the Meadows

Movies on the Meadows is an outdoor screening event held at Grantchester Meadows, Cambridge. Over the August bank holiday weekend films screen over on giant inflatable screens positioned on the banks of the river Cam. The films show simultaneously each night and audiences tune into their preferred film using a radio set and headphones.

Audiences can bring their own picnics or browse the varied food and drink on offer from local vendors. In 2014 the local vendors included Planet of the Crepes, Caffe Mobile, and Steak and Honour

Movies on the Meadows 2015

Movies on the Meadows, the seventh year of annual screenings, will be 29–31 August with a total of nine films shown.

Movies on the Meadows 2014

Six Films, Three Screens, Two Nights, One River, Millions of Stars.[1]

Saturday 23 August 2014 was family themed and screened:

Sunday 24 August 2014 was Sci-fi themed and showed:

Golden, Silver & Crystal Punt Awards

Each year the Festival awards audience awards to the Best Feature (The Golden Punt Award), Best Documentary (Silver Punt Award), and Best Short Film (Crystal Punt Award).

2014 Golden, Silver & Crystal Punt Award Winners

Golden Punt Award for Best Fiction Feature - Monica Z

Silver Punt Award for Best Documentary - A Poem In Exile

Crystal Punt Award for Best Short Film - The Showreel

2013 Golden, Silver & Crystal Punt Award Winners

Golden Punt Award for Best Fiction Feature - The Forgotten Kingdom

Silver Punt Award for Best Documentary - Black Africa, White Marble

Crystal Punt Award for Best Short Film - Rhino Full Throttle.


External links

Official sites

Other sites