That’s a wrap: Big Picture Festival

Big Picture Festival 2019 is done and dusted! Thank you to everyone who came out for it; we had such a fabulous time getting to meet all of you from the local area, and even further afield in some cases. It was an amazing recognition of film culture in Warwickshire and the Midlands.

One of the resounding bits of feedback we had was about the variety of films on offer in the programme. Mike McCahill – film and television critic for The Guardian and The Telegraph, as well as a local lad who actually went to Warwick School – even tweeted us to say good luck, noting the ‘excellent programming choices’.

The Biggest Little Farm was a hit, and audiences were blown away by the sweeping cinematography and buddy subplot between a pig and a chicken. Its environmental message hit home with some saying that they were going to give up the daily commute and run off to the hills of California. Sounds like a plan!

The MACE (Media Archive for Central England) Warwickshire Archive short films were a blast from the past, with some local people noting that their dads had been hedge layers back in the 60s so could easily have worked with the characters up on screen. Oscar the Basset Hound also proved to be a fan favourite – his wild ways on the streets of Pailton, Nuneaton and Rugby were well known back in 1975, and his legacy lives on.

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Barrie Wills rolled up in style on Saturday night in an actual DeLorean which caused quite a stir in the school parking lot, and even more so when a second one pulled up! His talk paired with a screening of Back to the Future took us right back to the weird and wonderful ’80s – cue Huey Lewis and the News – and explored the history of the iconic car, which left us intrigued by the behind-the-scenes scandal that took place…

After his recent trip to LA, Marc Zammit was kind enough to join us for a screening of his new film Homeless Ashes which explores the essential issue of homelessness in 2019, and features a score by the brilliant Mark Wind. The post-show Q&A meant that the audience could pick his brain about how he managed to get the project going in the first place, with a crowdfunding project bringing it to the big screen. In fact, Marc’s teacher from back in the day attended the event which made Sunday night a proper reunion.

Other highlights included a raucous screening of Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers, an early morning weepie in the form of My Life as a Courgette, and the magical realist adventure Beasts of the Southern Wild, which many were glad to catch again on the big screen after its Oscar run in 2012.

Thank you to our funders Film Hub Midlands and The King Henry VIII Endowed Trust, our sponsors Dough & Brew, Austin Heath, Happy Puccia, Moore & Tibbits Solicitors and Russell Lane Jewellers, and to the Bridge House Theatre for hosting us so well. All their support is a welcome investment in Warwick and its development as a cultural hub in the Midlands, and we can’t wait to do it all again next year.

Roll on Big Picture Festival 2020!

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