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Great Yarmouth Film Festival, 30th September 2004

Jack Cardiff re-visits his birthplace

Oscar winner festival coup

Eastern Daily Press 12 August 2004 12:29

Oscar-winning director and cinematographer Jack Cardiff will be a star guest on the opening night of Yarmouth's first film festival.

The 90-year-old cinema legend - involved in such classics as The Red Shoes (1948) and The African Queen (1951) returns to the town where he was born to give a 30-minute master-class on cinematography at the Hollywood Cinema on Thursday, September 30.

That will be a prelude to the showing of A Matter of Life and Death (1946), a celebrated Technicolor film on which he was solely in charge of the photography.

Festival organiser Feargus Mack said: "It is a real coup because Jack is renowned as Britain's finest exponent of colour photography in the post-war years."

He was born in Yarmouth in 1914 while his parents, both vaudeville performers, were appearing in a show.

The borough council tourism department hopes the four-day festival will attract thousands to the town. It plans to make it an annual event.

Films - many with local connections - will be shown at a variety of venues, including the Hollywood, the Hippodrome Circus, Britannia Pier and St George's Theatre.

Mr Mack said: "We were keen to involve the 19th century theatres to give a more atmospheric experience to cinema buffs."

The first showing, on the Thursday morning, will be the 1954 Doris Day film Calamity Jane. It will be screened at the former Regent Cinema - now Mecca bingo hall in Regent Road - and the entry price will be the same as when the cinema closed in 1982.

East Anglian Film Archive footage will include a compilation on The Broads Remembered and two films on the town's fishing industry.

Mr Mack's colleague, Kat Downes, said: "We will have the first UK showing of all three Lord of the Rings films back to back, as well as the three Matrix films in the same way."

A Dad's Army evening, on the Friday, focuses on episodes of the comedy classic shot in Yarmouth. Other highlights include an animation workshop for children.

Details from the borough tourism department on 01493 856100.

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