Margate launches its inaugural Film Festival

A cinematic exploration of a shifting place & time

A site specific curation of British & international shorts, features, archive footage, local works, music, discussion & experimental live performances.

A Life In Waves
Margate Film Festival will launch an inaugural season this October, 3rd-7th, connecting together local communities, groups and resources to create a collaborative film & visual arts showcase. The festival will pay homage to the area’s changing nature through experimental programming – bringing together British and foreign film, shorts and features from the festival circuit; beloved classics as well as archive film, audio-visual installations and cinematic arts.
Margate is changing rapidly. In the last ten years major infrastructure investments have regenerated the town, which now has a growing creative and cultural buzz. Margate Film Festival aims to be an important annual contributor to the cultural life and reputation of the town and of Thanet as a whole. The festival intends to make a name for Margate once again, having previously had 8 cinemas ranging up to 1700 seats through the early-mid 1900s, while the tourism industry was booming. After many were bombed during the war, demolished over time, or put to other uses, there are now no remaining active cinemas in the area.
The festival opens with celebrated film Pin Cushion by British writer-director Deborah Haywood featuring, a dark twisted modern fairy-tale about odd-ball mother and daughter moving to a new town, which will be introduced by Margate-based cinematographer Nicola Daley.
Pin Cushion
Other highlights of the festival include; Lost In Vagueness with a live performance by Claire Orme – the debut feature from director Sofia Olins – tells the extraordinary untold story of Glastonbury Festival’s most iconic and anarchic sideshow attraction, Lost Vagueness and its ingenious but ocassionaly self-destructive creator Roy Gurvitz. Featuring Fat Boy Slim, Madness, Kate Tempest and Michael & Emily Eavis, as well as a whole host of outlandish performers.  A Life In Waves explores the life and innovations of composer and electronic music pioneer, Suzanne Ciani.  From her earliest days learning the piano to her multi-million dollar advertising ventures and successes in the world of New Age Music the film is a journey into Suzanne’s mind, offering a feminine glimpse into the often complicated world of electronic music.
Lost In Vagueness
Kate Williamson leading the Margate Film Festival comments, “The festival goes beyond film, beyond cinema even. It’s an extravaganza of creativity and local people, all doing what they do best, for the love of it.  Margate is no one fixed thing, nor is the festival –with a packed 5 days of cross-arts events that have been curated organically from the myriad of local talents, it’s a ‘taste of Margate’, brought together by a team of passionate volunteers and community spirit. An opportunity to really see what’s happening here”.
Joining the festival will be Umut Gunduz who debuts his documentary, Omphalos. The tidal pool of Walpole Bay has become the central meeting point for so many residents of Margate. Season-in, season-out, the hardcore bathers of the area congregate; gently floating, swimming, chatting be it morning, noon or evening. Their relationship to the pool supplies the backdrop to this video and sound performance by filmmaker, Umut Gunduz. Through interviews with the bathers and local scientists, sonic recordings captured around the pool and bay and ambient videography, this one-off documentary performance will examine the bay as both an architectural/ecological landmark and giant womb that gives life to the people that immerse themselves within it.
Lucy My Transgender Life

Also showing is LUCY: My Transgender Life, in collaboration with Margate Pride, a beautiful film about the transgender story. Lucy candidly shares her transgender journey, speaking in emotive detail about the struggles she has overcome and finding acceptance in East London’s euphoric queer club scene.

The festival has something for everyone including a Family Workshop – Stories Shadows and Silent Film, an exciting opportunity for parents and children to explore classic silent short shadow animations by early filmmaker Lotte Reiniger accompanied by live piano from Lillian Henley and to make their own simple shadow puppets to take home.
Take a visit to Margate’s iconic Theatre Royal for 1927’s production; The Animals & Children Took To The Streets synchronising live music, performance, storytelling, stunning films and animination this is the wickedly twisted International hit tale from the multiple award-winning company behind Golem, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and The Magic Flute. Seaside Sessions is the passion project of Adam Tinnion to give local musicians a platform to showcase their music and talents teaming up with Margate Film Festival present an afternoon of live music from local artists alongside a programme of music videos film on location around Thanet.

To close the festival Jolly Boys Outing (1989) – Only Fools and Horses will see Del organising the annual beano to Margate, the traditional Jolly Boys’ Outing. Mishaps and mayhem pursue. This feature is one of the few screen pieces to feature Margate and is an iconic cultural reference all local residents of this British seaside town. But there’s more to Margate than chips, cockles, ice-cream, doughnuts, Pina Colada and lobster Vindaloo – there’s magician The Great Ramondo and his assistant Raquel.

Jolly Boys Outing – Only Fools & Horses
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