The Cambridge Film Festival has been running for 35 years since it’s conception in 1977. This year the festival includes 150+ films over 11 days in 8 different locations, featuring films from over 30 different countries including 7 world premiers and 55 UK premiers. Cambridge Film festival is the UK’s third longest running film festival and is only rivaled in quality by the likes of London and Edinburgh film festivals.
When it was first established in 1977, the festival started out showing a handful of films at a single screen at Cambridge Arts Cinema. Although the event has grown it is proud to avoid that ‘red carpet event’ feel despite hosting multiple world and UK premieres.
The festival has evolved so much over the years it is totally unique, hosting films not only in the infamous Arts Picturehouse cinema, but includes events at 8 different locations around the city including outdoor screenings. Every year films are not confined to the Cinema, ‘Movies on the Meadows’ screens films at the well known Granchester Meadows, three screens, two evenings, after sundown, the audience listens to their chosen film via a radio set and headphones, and is a very unique experience.
The festival also includes a ‘surprise film’, buy your ticket and you’re in for a complete surprise… surprisingly! Previous films have included: Up!, Pirates of the Caribbean, A Cock and Bull Story, Burn After Reading and Looper.
We have been major sponsors of this event since 2006. As part of this support we created a new website that would be part of the 35th Cambridge Film Festival.
We wanted the website to reflect the festival’s quality and prestige as one of the best film festivals in the UK. The website would also be a platform for raising awareness of the festival and attract the world’s best filmmakers.
User experience (UX) was key in this project as this website is designed for filmgoers on the move. The intention was that the site would be highly searchable and shareable.
We also helped the Film Festival introduce a booking system, Vista. This was integrated seamlessly into the website. Another feature that was added was the ‘showing next’ feature, allowing users to view a live feed of films next to be screened, maximising use of film festival time (to see as many films as possible of course!).
The site was built with a Drupal 8, the latest release of this leading open source web content management system (CMS).
View the new Cambridge Film Festival site here.
We were given so much choice, how could we fit all the fantastic films, documentaries and interviews in? Many members of the team have seen films this year, here are some of our favourites:
August bank holiday weekend meant it was time for: Movies on the Meadows, an idyllic setting for the film ‘The Theory of Everything’. As the sun set over Granchester meadows the film got underway and despite a bit of drizzle, the films were thoroughly enjoyed by all, the perfect start to the film festival.
Another definite hit for the team was the UK premiere of Irrational Man, written and directed by Woody Allen, starring Emma Stone and Joaquin Phoenix. The very apt autumnal glow of the New England setting harbors a dark humorous streak. We thoroughly enjoyed this film.
Our next film festival delight was ‘Legend’ the latest film about the infamous Kray twins, the brothers Ronnie and Reggie both played by Tom Hardy. This hard-hitting representation of crime in 1960’s London is both intense yet comical and made for a gripping watch and we would definitely see this again!
Films were not the only offering at this year’s festival, and we decided to try a documentary. Poached is an intriguing documentary following the lives of both active and ex egg collectors. Motivated not by money but simply for the passion for the egg and the thrill of the chase. This documentary provided a strange window into egg collectors lives.
There are still a few days left to catch some fantastic films and documentaries, such as: The Jungle Book and Shepreth Creatures of the Jungle, which includes some animal handling, great for the kids. The Surprise Film is showing on the 12th September, but no, we have no idea what it is!
To see the full list of what’s on view the Film Festival website here.