The first edition of the BFI Film on Film Festival has kicked off
- From 8-11 June, the British Film Institute is organising a celebration of cinema, with movies projected solely on film
Yesterday saw the start of the first edition of the BFI Film on Film Festival (8-11 June), the first festival in the UK dedicated to movies projected on film, in formats ranging from 16mm and 35mm to 70mm and even nitrate.
The BFI National Archive curators have selected some rarely screened vintage prints as well as creating new prints of both classic and lesser-known films. The opening night began with the projection of A Dog Called Discord, a new short commissioned for the occasion and directed by Mark Jenkin (Bait [+see also:
interview: Mark Jenkin
film profile], Enys Men [+see also:
interview: Mark Jenkin
film profile]), shot on Super 8 and 16mm, and projected on 35mm. This was followed by Mildred Pierce by Michael Curtiz, which was supposed to be screened from a nitrate print, but an issue with the fire-suppression system meant that a safe projection from the highly flammable material couldn’t be guaranteed. A brand-new acetate print was used instead, and the problem is being addressed.
Other titles screening during the festival include Rouben Mamoulian’s Blood and Sand, from a rare nitrate print; John Farrow’s western Hondo, starring John Wayne, in 3D; Larry Peerce’s Elizabeth Taylor-starring Ash Wednesday on what is perhaps the last surviving print in the UK; and Frank Perry’s The Swimmer, starring Burt Lancaster, on a print being used for the last time owing to shrinkage. A 70mm all-nighter of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight [+see also:
film profile] trilogy is also showing on Saturday, and a series of talks and workshops on filmmaking, restoration and projection are also taking place. Charlie Shackleton’s The Afterlight, combining images of now-deceased actors in films, and existing as a sole 35mm print destined for deterioration, will screen for the 50th time as a special presentation, and the festival will close with an original 1975 print of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws.
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