The Cambridge Film Festival is an annual celebration of independent film held every September in Cambridge, UK. Even if you don’t make the trip to the festival, you might eventually see movies that started here, such as “Reservoir Dogs” and “Crash”, on top TV channels available from http://www.direct2tv.com/.
Since it’s inception in 1977, the festival has garnered international recognition and continues to be an important event showcasing exceptional talent in the world of British cinema and beyond.
While many mainstream films are screened at the festival, the emphasis is put on independent or low-budget works by international filmmakers who may not get much attention elsewhere; and because of the open-submissions process, this makes it easy for anyone with a distribution-worthy film to gain initial success before entry into larger independent festivals, such as Cannes and Venice. The goal each year is to create a respectable platform for independent cinema in an otherwise sea of expanding commercial cinema, and pay tribute to those past influential filmmakers who have lost their mark on the world.
Packing hundreds of vastly different films of all genres from around the globe into an eleven-day festival gives participants a chance before admission to carefully choose which films they would like to see and when based off a brochure that describes each film, as well as a variety of ‘strands’, or different categories of films that meet their particular interests. Each strand represents a series of films with a similar theme, director, time period, and so forth. According to the 2012 Festival Programme, nineteen strands were featured that ranged from new German, Estonian, and Catalan cinema to short films with themes such as love, laughing, women, and parallel universies, to a grand tribute to the films of Hitchcock, and much more. The festival also explores the art of documentaries and animation, as well as films for children at the Cambridge Family Film Festival.
After every screening, the audience casts their vote to decide which films should win in three main categories: Favourite Feature, Favourite Documentary Feature, and Favourite Short Film. Past winners have included “Spirited Away” (2003), “Broken Flowers” (2005), and “Volver” (2006). Other well-known films such as “Thelma and Louise”, “Bowling for Columbine”, “Reservoir Dogs”, “Crash”, and “Before Sunset” have made their premieres at Cambridge Film Festival.