Third annual Hastings Rocks Film Festival launches

James Rowlins, director Hastings Rocks Film Festival (contributed pic)James Rowlins, director Hastings Rocks Film Festival (contributed pic)
James Rowlins, director Hastings Rocks Film Festival (contributed pic)
The third annual Hastings Rocks Film Festival runs from April 12-14, with tickets available on

James Rowlins, from the Hastings Rocks International Film Festival team, said: “We are screening 80 short films and four feature-length films made in the local area, UK and internationally, in three venues: the Printworks, the Observer Building and Hypha Studio (Priory Meadow Mall).

“Our Friday night feature is Punch, a horror film about a mysterious masked man terrorising a local beach town. 80 per cent of the film was shot in Hastings using local crew. The film’s culprit, plot spoiler, turns out to be the town’s mayor…

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“Hastings continues to attract a high quality of horror films, showcased in two Friday-night sessions. Saturday’s daytime sessions include a wealth of British and international drama and documentary. A highlight is #RevolutionAnyone by local film-makers Archie and Jodie Lauchlan about those on the frontline of fomenting social and political change in the UK, drawing on comparisons with Robert Tressell’s seminal novel The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists.

“Saturday evening will showcase a variety of weird, wonderful and experimental films as well as a feature-length film Burnt Flowers – a darkly surreal gangster independent film set in the 1960s and 90s, directed by the charismatic Michael Fausti and starring a host of local talent.

“We are showing experimental films and animation at Hypha Studios in Priory Meadow Mall as well as a documentary/talk about the history of LGBTQ police repression in the south east (a free event). On Sunday we are showcasing films made in Hastings for the Trash Cannes five-day film-making challenge, which kicked off on Saturday, March 30.

“Our VIP guests (to be confirmed) include local director Bindu de Stoppani and legendary local actor Bill Fellows.”

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A spokesman said: “Hastings Rocks is home to independent films that push boundaries across all genres, fiction or non-fictional. In keeping with the UK seaside town’s culture and history, we especially welcome works that explore esoteric, mystical, noir and horror themes as well as films that are made in Hastings.

“Hastings Rocks 2023 screened 66 short films and six feature films to over 500 attendees. The comedian Jo Brand hosted our awards ceremony and gave a Q&A following the screening of her acclaimed indie film The More You Ignore Me.”

Also coming up, Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne is promising the perfect Easter holiday family treat with Rapunzel: A Tangled Hairy-tale running from Wednesday to Saturday, April 3-7.

Tickets £19, under-16s £16. To book call the box office on 01323 412000 or online

A spokesman said: “From the team behind the beloved Devonshire Park pantomimes, get ready for this laugh-out-loud family adventure, packed with magic, music and plenty of ridiculous fun!”

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