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SFF2015 logo

The Opening Gala screening of the new British thriller ‘Age of Kill’ and the Closing Gala screening of the unnerving, powerful drama ‘Still’, another British feature, book-ended this year’s festival and cemented our reputation as the home of UK independent productions.  Other new UK productions included ‘My Horrible Love’, ‘The Liberator’, ‘iWitness’, ‘Blood and Carpet’ and ‘Solitary’. And the “house full” signs went up especially early for ‘Abusing Protocol’, co-directed by celebrated local actor Darren Kent, which played to a hugely enthusiastic crowd. In between, the usual mix of classics, World Cinema, documentaries and audience favourites provided, as they say, ‘something for everyone’.

Age of Kill Poster1

SFF2014 logo

2014 was a very special year indeed, when we presented to the world ‘The Lost Films of Peter Sellers’. The remarkable story of how these short comedies, long thought to be lost, were salvaged from a skip in London and presented at our Opening Gala quickly became the stuff of legend. Many celebrities, and friends and family of the late iconic comedian, joined us for a fantastic occasion. The films were given a second showing at a sold-out screening that preceded our presentation, as our Closing Gala, of the legendary black comedy The Magic Christian, at which we were honoured to have director Joseph McGrath as our very special guest. In between these very special events, the festival showcased the usual range of films, documentaries and events, from Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple to appearances by rock stars John Otway and Bruno Wizard!

Peter Sellers Poster





We were absolutely delighted that Phil Davies was able to join us, together with rising co-star Theo Barlem-Biggs, for the Opening Gala screening of Borrowed Time. Many other members of the cast and crew came along for a fantastic evening which set the tone for the rest of the festival, where, among many wonderful presentations, Fred and Ginger rubbed shoulders with Laurel & Hardy! Chris Fenwick, manager of famed local group Dr. Feelgood, presented a programme of shorts filmed on his beloved Canvey Island, while Ray Cooney and Vicki Michelle introduced Run For Your Wife, fittingly at the Palace Theatre, where the stage version has enjoyed tremendous success. The cast and crew from N.F.A. [No Fixed Abode] joined us for a wonderful Closing Gala, bringing the curtain down on yet another hugely successful festival.

Borrowed Time Poster



2012 logo archive

The fourth Southend-on-Sea Film Festival started in fine fashion with the cast and crew from our Opening Gala, Hard Boiled Sweets, joining Festival Patron, Ray Winstone, at the red-carpet screening at the Odeon. Films screened during the festival ranged from classics (Swing Time, No Orchids for Miss Blandish) through World Cinema (The Salt of Life, The Light Thief) and family films (Tintin, Bugsy Malone Sing-A-Long) to wonderful new documentaries (Casuals, East End Babylon) with much more besides! Once again, we were joined by many actors and filmmakers. Our Closing Gala was UK Premiere of the drama Lost in Italy, with the actors and filmmakers joining us for this wonderful occasion.

Hard Boiled Sweets poster





To celebrate the third Southend-on-Sea Film Festival our Opening Gala was a 30th anniversary presentation of iconic British gangster film The Long Good Friday, starring Bob Hoskins and Helen Mirren. We were joined by producer Barry Hanson, writer Barrie Keeffe and stars P. H. Moriarty, Paul Barber, Kevin McNally, Karl Howman and Gillian Taylforth (and her sister Kim). Our patron, Ray Winstone, was also on hand. Screenings during the festival included The Ballad of Mott the Hoople, Taylor Made: My Life in Lights, Grave Tales, Do Elephants Pray?, Room 36 and its companion documentary Room 36: Eleven Years in the Making, Never Take Sweets from a Stranger and Day of the Triffids. As ever, many of these screenings and events were supported by actors and filmmakers. Our Closing Gala was a special screening of the new British comedy Being Sold, with the actors and filmmakers joining us for this wonderful occasion.

long Good Friday Poster





The second Southend-on-Sea Film Festival was opened by the powerful drama Fathers of Girls. Star Ray Winstone and directors Karl Howman and Ethem Cetintas, together with many others from the film, were our special guests at the Opening Gala. Special screenings during the festival included Oil City Confidential, Witchfinder General, The Birdbrook Ghost Hunt, The Devil’s Music and Morris: A Life with Bells, with many of the filmmakers and actors joining us to introduce their films. The festival closed with a special screening of the gritty police drama SUS, with cast and crew in attendance.

After the festival, Ray Winstone generously agreed to become our Patron.

fathers of girls poster





This was the very first Southend-on-Sea Film Festival. Our Opening Gala was the premiere of the acclaimed urban drama Shifty, with many of the cast and crew in attendance.  Other highlights included Q&As by guests such as Cass Pennant (Cass), Jim Groom (Room 36) and the cast and crew from Special People, short films from South East Film Makers, archive footage in Southend Past as well as favourites such as Mamma Mia!, Time Bandits and Singin’ in the Rain

Shifty Poster

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