This year marks the 10th edition of Cinecity, the Brighton film festival. Co-director Tim Brown has been involved from the start.
What are the festival’s roots?
We set up Cinecity in 2003; at that time Brighton had no dedicated film festival. I worked at the Duke Of York’s and the University Of Brighton, and that partnership remains the bedrock of the festival (Frank Gray, director of Screen Archive South East at the University, is Cinecity’s other co-director). Our roles haven’t really changed, it’s still about working through the year to raise money, forge links, visit a lot of festivals, and, of course, watch a lot of films and put the programme together. The annual festival is the main focus but now we collaborate with Brighton Festival and House Visual Arts Festival each May, and work with the Duke Of York’s and others to present films and screenings right throughout the year.
What role do Cinecity’s patrons play?
They sometimes curate programmes and select films, take part in Q&As or help out with contacts and recommendations. In 2009 Henry Normal tipped us off about a debut feature called Down Terrace which we squeezed into the programme at the last minute. Its director Ben Wheatley has gone on to make Kill List and he’s back at the festival with a preview of his very funny new film Sightseers. This year we’re welcoming a new patron to the team, musician and soundtrack composer Barry Adamson, who’s got involved straight away in the music and film programme.
Which Cinecity events have you been most proud of?
One of the most moving was Simon Fisher Turner and Black Sifichi presenting Derek Jarman’s Blue live; it was given a further magical twist by coming out of the Duke of York’s after such a powerful performance to a perfect, thick blanket of snow. The exhibition of the Quay Brothers’ décors and miniature film sets was special for us; it’s currently at the Museum Of Modern Art in New York. This year’s Hangover Square film set installation was quite a departure and got an incredible response. It’s exciting to be able to go into the splendour of the Music Room at the Royal Pavilion to screen films. We’re showing Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon there. This year we’ve put a special emphasis on debut features – there are around 15 in the programme. Ultimately, giving a platform to new talent and having that element of discovery is always the most exciting and rewarding thing.
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