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24 Mar 2023 - 26 Mar 2023

Hebden Bridge Film Festival 2023

Price: £Various

Event description

Join us for another exceptional weekend of films, events, and special guests from 24th -26th March 2023, featuring a host of award-winning and critically-acclaimed international and homegrown films, including three UK premieres.

Highlights include Polite Society, Lyra, A Good Person and Blue Jean; three UK premieres; HBFF’s Short Film Competition including Maxine Peake’s short film Incompatible, and a special collaboration with Vocation & Co

Alongside the screenings, festival goers will have the opportunity to attend Q&A sessions and panel discussions with special guests, including film directors, actors, writers and producers.

One of the highlights of this year’s festival is British action comedy Polite Society, which “radiates fizzy delight, showing audiences a breezy good time”, according to Screen Daily.

The feel-good hit of this year’s Sundance, Polite Society follows martial arts obsessed teenage Ria Khan who believes she must save her older sister Lena from her impending marriage. The screening is being hosted in partnership with Bradford Literature Festival and will be followed by a Q&A with Syima Aslam MBE, Director, Bradford Literature Festival, plus special guests.

The festival will showcase ground-breaking documentary filmmaking from around the world, including the multi-award winning Lyra, an emotional, intimate portrait of the life and death of Belfast journalist Lyra Mckee who was shot dead in 2019 while covering a riot in Derry. Director Alison Millar, Producer Jackie Doyle and Sara Canning, Lyra’s partner, will join the festival for a special Q&A.

HBFF will feature the UK premieres of documentaries When the Camera Stopped Rolling, Clarissa’s Battle and Destiny, which will each be followed by Q&A ‘s with special guests; as well as Fashion Reimagined about fashion’s impact on the environment, which will also include a panel with special guests.

Featuring an all-star cast is A Good Person, written and directed by Zach Braff, and starring Florence Pugh and Morgan Freeman, and British drama Nobody Has to Know stars Michelle Fairley (Game of Thrones).

International titles coming to the festival include Winners, set in a small provincial Iranian town, which will be followed by a Q&A with Producer, Nadira Murray and Saeed Zeydabadi-Nejad, Research Fellow, SOAS University of London. The film won the Audience Award Edinburgh International Film Festival and was the UK submission to the 2023 Oscars for Best International Feature Film.

Other international titles include Lingui, the Sacred Bonds, one of the best-reviewed movies of the year; Utama, winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival, which follows a couple’s life herding llamas in the Bolivian highlands, and Moroccan title The Blue Caftan, which has been winning prizes at film festivals across the globe.

BAFTA-nominated British drama Blue Jean, which follows a lesbian PE teacher forced to live a double life in the wake of Section 28, will be followed by a Q&A with actor Kerrie Hayes and producer Hélène Sifre, as well as Catherine Lee and Sarah Squires, who inspired the story.

Other highlights of the HBFF 2023 programme include:

  • Filmmaking masterclass,“ Empowering Communities with Film”, with documentary filmmaker Anne Marie Carty, exploring the complexities of co-producing film with communities.
  • StoryTrails, a free virtual reality experience that brings stories to life using augmented and virtual reality technologies, available for all to access at Hebden Bridge Town Hall throughout the festival.
  • HBFF’s annual Short Film Competition, sponsored by local businesses, Vocation& Co and The Fox and Goose, plus feature Film competition sponsored byDP Squared.
  • Vocation Brewery’s special beer for the festival – the ‘Hope and Resistance’ pale ale, which will be available to purchase at all screenings as well as in can and on keg at Vocation & Co and other pubs in Hebden Bridge throughout the festival.
  • Short film Incompatible, directed by festival Patron Maxine Peake and filmed locally around Hebden Bridge, followed by a Q&A with Maxine Peake and fellow Incompatible cast and crew members.


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