Spokesman Tim Brown promised the very best in world cinema and a diverse programme of premieres and previews, treasures from the archive, talks and special events.
“The festival gives audiences first sight of highly anticipated titles ahead of UK release and showcases many others brought to Brighton from around the world for one-off screenings. “CINECITY is the region’s biggest celebration of cinema and is presented in partnership with the University of Brighton. Main cinema venues are Duke of York’s Picturehouse and Depot, Lewes but screenings and events take place at venues across the city including Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Fabrica and Duke’s at Komedia.
“Previews of two films from leading British female directors bookend this year’s festival.
“CINECITY 2021 opens on ri Nov 5 (Duke of York’s) with a special preview of Ali & Ava, the latest feature from British director Clio Barnard (The Selfish Giant, Dark River) which charts an unlikely but heart-warming romance. The film goes on general release on February 4.
“CINECITY closes on Nov 14 (Duke of York’s) with the latest feature from Joanna Hogg, The Souvenir: Part II, starring Tilda Swinton. The film is released into UK cinemas on Jan 21.”
Tim added: “The festival presents a host of award-laden international films all screening in the region for the first time,and ahead of UK release.
“Just some of the highlights include Petite Maman, the latest from Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Girlhood), Titane from director Julia Ducournau, provocative winner of the Palme d’or at this year’s Cannes and Drive My Car, winner of the Best Screenplay at the same festival.
“Animated feature Flee won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. Memoria directed by the acclaimed Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul and also starring Tilda Swinton, won the Jury Prize at Cannes.
“CINECITY also presents a double helping of two highly anticipated films starring Benedict Cumberbatch – The Power of the Dog directed by Jane Campion (The Piano, Bright Star) and The Electrical Life of Louis Wain directed by Will Sharpe.
“The Power of The Dog is Jane Campion’s first feature since 2009 and Cumberbatch’s role as a tough, bullying cowboy in 1920s Montana is already being tipped for success at the Oscars. In stark contrast he stars as the Victorian artist Louis Wain, best known for his drawings of cats and kittens, in the colourful and charming biopic from Will Sharpe, director of Channel 4’s Flowers.
“There are premieres of features from directors based in Brighton & Hove – Record, Clay & Bone, Ghost Amber and Maisie.
“In Lee Cooper’s debut documentary feature, we follow Maisie Trollette, alter-ego of Brighton’s own David Raven, at 85 the UK’s oldest drag artist.
“Record traces director Joanna Callaghan’s journey from Australia to the UK and back again, weaving together her own personal history with a wider story of colonisation, forced migration and identity.
“Clay & Bone from Brian McClave – with narration from Will Self – excavates the rich archive of footage captured during the construction of the Crossrail Project. Ghost Amber from Tim Grabham blends animation, documentary, archive material and fantasy elements as it reflects on the slow vanishing of celluloid film. All four screenings will be followed by Q&As with the directors and special guests.”
Tim added: “This year marks the 50th anniversary of The Moon and the Sledgehammer, a documentary dedicated to the Page family who lived off-grid in a six-acre wood near Chiddingly, East Sussex.
“In a special event at Depot, Lewes on Nov 13, a screening of the film will be followed by a discussion with Barney Snow, a TV factual and documentary film-maker interested in folk stories and rural themes, and Joanna Pocock, author of the award-winning Surrender (2018) and part of the Dark Mountain Project – a cultural movement that is engaged with our current ecological, social and cultural unravelling. The event is chaired by Frank Gray, director of Screen Archive South-East at the University of Brighton.”