Film festival’s screening in the cathedral

The first St Albans Film Festival is just around the corner, and organisers have announced that they’ll be starting off with a little piece of history.

A special screening of the latest cinema take on Dickens classic Great Expectations, together with an introductory talk by director Mike Newell, will take place in St Albans Abbey at the end of the month – the first time the cathedral church has showed a feature film in the historic nave.

Great Expectations, which went on general release just before Christmas, stars Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes and a host of other star names.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The screening on Thursday, February 28 comes a week before the inaugural film festival kicks off.

The abbey’s Canon Kevin Walton said: “Mike Newell has long connections with St Albans Cathedral and is a keen supporter through the Education Trust. We are really pleased to have a screening of Great Expectations in this very ancient and atmospheric place.”

The director, who also called the shots on hits like Four Weddings And A Funeral and Harry Potter and The Goblet Of fire, was born and brought up in St Albans, and is one of a number of famous film-making residents of the city, past and present.

Tickets for the special screening are £12 from the cathedral shop, or call 01727 890217.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Profits will go to support the work carried out by the education centre which welcomes more than 16,000 children each year.

The festival itself opens on Friday, March 8, with a premiere of Sara Sugarman’s music-based comedy drama Vinyl, starring Phil Daniels and Keith Allen.

To find out more about what’s in store, visit

The Film Festival kicks off on March 8th, with opening film Vinyl, a week ahead of its UK cinema release. Vinyl is directed by Sara Sugarman, and stars Phil Daniels, Keith Allen, Perry Benson and up and coming young actor Jamie Blackley.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The closing film of the festival will be Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures, directed by Jan Harlan, Kubrick’s brother-in-law, and one of Kubrick’s producers, who will also be giving a talk about film-making at the festival.

Leoni Kibbey, Film Festival Director, says: “‘The screening of Great Expectations at St Albans Cathedral with BAFTA award winning Director Mike Newell, demonstrates the strong links this City has to the film-making industry and to great film-makers.

“The Oscars will have just happened, but St Albans will carry that Oscars excitement on through this very special weekend. The City will be a fun place to be with the thrill of movie-making all around the City centre, and a great festival vibe too. Children will be encouraged to get dressed up in film-themed fancy dress, there will be film pub quizes, interactive events where people will have a chance to get on camera or try things out behind the scenes, and celebrities from the world of film, art and music milling around the town.”

Related topics: