The 15th anniversary edition of Borderlines Film Festival launches today when thirteen different films will play across four counties: Herefordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire and Powys. The Festival, now one of the largest in the UK, runs for 17 days through to Sunday 12 March.
Borderlines is eagerly anticipated in the Marches, and not just for the six Bafta winning titles that cinema-goers in the rural West Midlands will have the chance to see within the festival time-frame: from multiple award recipients like La La Land which won Best Film, Best Director for Damien Chazelle and Leading Actress for Emma Stone to the Outstanding British Film, Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake, with its heart-rending food bank scene, that will play at five Herefordshire Flicks in the Sticks venues.
Within the festival programme, it’s possible to feast richly on the best of contemporary film from all over the world and to draw fascinating connections. Alongside Jackie, Borderlines is screening
another film by Chilean director Pablo Larraín that paints a portrait of a major character from recent history, poet, politician and diplomat Pablo Neruda. Neruda screens as a preview at The Courtyard Hereford and Booth’s Bookshop Cinema in Hay.
Among the special events over the opening weekend of Borderlines, a very singular version of Hamlet, made in 1921, during the silent era, stars the sultry Danish superstar Asta Nielsen, with her mask-like face and large dark eyes, in the traditionally male title role. The film will be accompanied by London’s Cinema Museum stalwart Lilian Henley on piano. Another female pianist, Meg Morley will provide the soundtrack to Buster Keaton’s silent comedy classic The General at Ludlow Assembly Rooms the following weekend.
There’s been strong take-up of films at The Courtyard Hereford with some screenings already sold out or close to sell out, and both screenings of La La Land at kinokulture Cinema in Oswestry have sold out, as has the preview of The Olive Tree at Booth’s Bookshop in Hay-on-Wye.
Festival Director Naomi Vera-Sanso sums up the range and diversity that the programme offers, “Our 15th anniversary edition brings together all that is best about Borderlines; from multi award-winning films, the hot Oscar and BAFTA nominations to contemporary films from little-frequented corners of the world. We are delighted to have a special focus on the work of women film-makers in 2017 too, from the most highly regarded women directors in world cinema to early pioneers from the silent screen with Asta Nielsen’s riveting performance as Hamlet and Lois Weber’s 1917 social masterpiece drama Shoes.”