On Friday 5th May the Oxford International Film Festival in partnership with Picturehouse will celebrate its second edition with an opening night of ‘Comedy with a Twist’ as Timothy Spall’s psychological one man show homage to comedy greats STANLEY A MAN OF VARIETY leads the way, along with Paul Hendy’s multi award winning THE LAST LAUGH, which tells a romantic tale of Tommy Cooper, Eric Morecombe and Bob Monkhouse sharing their final dressing room together, and the laugh out loud animation THE WRONG END OF THE STICK.
The boutique festival will then kick on over Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th, with premieres galore which include a ‘Music on Screen’ themed documentary programme, featuring ONE NOTE AT A TIME, ALFIE BOE- ON THE WHEELS OF A DREAM, and A SYMPHONY OF HOPE, and a ‘Familiar Faces’ indie selection that showcases such stars as Oscar Isaac, Ben Whishaw, Stephen Dorf, Patrick Baladi, Donald Sumpter, Sarah Parish, Rob James Collier and Bradley Walsh.
The weekend will then be further bolstered with award winning features such as CREEDMORIA starring Stef Dawson, WHY SEIGFRIED HAD TO DIE, WE’RE STILL TOGETHER and ‘Raindance’ nominee FOR GRACE closing the festival on Sunday evening.
OXIFF is a sister festival to the highly successful Manchester Film Festival, and OXIFF and MANIFF’s operations director Neil Jeram-Croft said - “OXIFF has been designed to be an intimate and eloquent filmmaker festival where film enthusiasts can get first hand insights from directors, writers, actors and producers from the premiering films, a style which blends well with the beautiful city of Oxford”.
Tickets and festival passes are available from the button above.
Full line up below
Friday 5th May 7pm
STANLEY A MAN OF VARIETY
DIRECTED BY STEPHEN COOKSON
Starring - Timothy Spall (Mr Turner, Harry Potter, Enchanted, Sweeney Todd).
82 mins Drama
We are delighted that both Director Stephen Cookson and star Timothy Spall will be joining us for a post screening Q&A.
Timothy Spall is outstanding in this amusing and often moving story of Stanley, a middle-aged man who enjoys watching classic British films and TV shows from the 1960/70’s. He finds himself in prison for a crime that he believes that he didn’t commit and after many years in solitary confinement his quest to see his daughter for her 16th birthday becomes his obsession. He begins to talk to his comedy heroes from the past as each one tries to help him remember what he has done.
Co-written by Spall and Director Stephen Cookson this is the first time since Alec Guinness in Kind Hearts and Coronets that one performer has played all the principle roles. It is a towering achievement from Spall, who moves from the flamboyant Noel Coward to the grotesque Max Wall via the ukulele playing of George Formby with ease.
Go see if you liked MOON and or SECRET HONOR.
THE LAST LAUGH
DIRECTED BY PAUL HENDY
Staring - Bob Golding, Damian Williams, Simon Cartwright.
19 mins UK Short
'The Laugh Laugh' sees three iconic, British comedians, Tommy Cooper, Eric Morecambe and Bob Monkhouse sitting in a dressing room discussing the secret of comedy.
We see the lightening wit and quick-fire quips which made these comedians great. But as the film scratches a little deeper, we catch a glimpse of their insecurities: the niggling doubt of whether a joke is funny enough and how the fear of ‘dying’ drives them on a never-ending quest for that next big laugh.
Warm, funny, affectionate and moving, ‘The Last Laugh’ explores what it means to be funny and what happens when the laughter stops…
THE WRONG END OF THE STICK
DIRECTED BY TERRI MATTHEWS
9 mins UK SHORT – Animation/Comedy
Malcolm Fetcher is a neurotic, middle-aged teacher lost in a dull marriage with his wife of twenty years, Beverly. As he faces an all-consuming identity crisis, their marriage disintegrates and he is forced to express a deep, hidden desire...
Saturday 6th May 12pm
A SYMPHONY OF HOPE
DIRECTED BY BRIAN WEIDLING
Twenty five Hollywood Film and TV composers came together to write a symphony for the people of Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010. The film captures the studio session that recorded a 90-piece symphony and 60-person choir while taking you on a journey with people in Haiti as they rebuild their country rock by rock.
Go see if you liked THE BATTLE FOR HAITI and or MUSIC FROM THE INSIDE OUT
DIRECTED BY PAUL COOKE
Starring – Henry Douthwaite and Lollie McKenzie.
16 mins UK SHORT – Drama/Thriller
In a near future where all antibiotics have failed, Tom and his young daughter, Amy, are quarantined in their home during a lethal pandemic. CATCH is about the love between a father and his daughter, and the lengths he will go to, to try to protect her.
DIRECTED BY MIN REID
8 mins MUSIC VIDEO
RED is based on a true story about a promise, love, dedication and devastating loss to Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease.
THE SECRET OF SPRING
DIRECTED BY JEAN CLAUDE BILLMAIER
4 mins EXPERIMENTAL FILM
An exploration of love unfolding.
Saturday 6th May 2:25pm
WE’RE STILL TOGETHER
DIRECTED BY JESSE KLEIN
Starring – Jess Camacho, Joey Klein, Brielle Robillard and Eve Harrow.
82 mins Drama/Coming of Age
A bullied, overweight teen is rescued by a manic single dad and together they set off into the city at night. At house parties, dive bars and backyard pools, with teenage crushes, estranged wives and daughters, Chris and Bobby come to know each other, and try not to lose themselves.
Go see if you liked What Maisie Knew and or About a Boy.
DIRECTED BY LAYKE ANDERSON
Starring – Ricky Nixon and Bruce Payne.
12 mins UK SHORT - Drama
A young man meets the worn voice of a fading city under the lights of a London sex shop.
"Strangely moving and tense. Wonderful central performances and beautifully put together." - Stephen Fry
DIRECTED BY JOSCHKA LAUKENINKS
Starring – Jan Stapelfeldt, Xenia Assenza and Jessica McIntyre.
8 mins INTERNATIONAL SHORT- Drama
As a young child our protagonist is left by his mother and has to live with his violent father. He fights his way through adolescence and falls in love with the woman of his dreams and just as everything seems to be finally working out for him, a sudden event changes the course of his life forever. A story about how everything we love, everything we learn, everything we build, everything we fear, will one day be gone.
I AM DYSLEXIC
DIRECTED BY MADS JOHAN ØGAARD AND KATIE WYMAN
6 mins UK SHORT Animation
The film expresses what it feels like to have a learning difference in our current school system. The film uses strong metaphors to portray these emotions, as we follow a little boy in his journey to climb a mountain in a world made of books.
JOHNNY CLEGG - TAKE MY HEART AWAY (HIGH SOCIETY REMIX)
DIRECTED BY JARON CLEGG
5 mins MUSIC VIDEO
The story follows a young South African boy, Lindo, who lives in an informal settlement that borders an international spaceflight launch site. Lindo is infatuated with space travel, his hideout in-between is filled with articles and old books on space travel, as well as drawings and pictures of rockets and spaceships. His dream is to fly amongst the stars, far away from his destitute township life. One day, Lindo sees an opportunity to sneak on board a space shuttle as a stowaway.
Saturday 6th May 4:50pm
DIRECTED BY ALICIA SLIMMER
Starring - Stef Dawson (The Hunger Games, The Paper Store), Ray Abruzzo (Transparent, the Sopranos), Rachel de Benedet (Catch Me if You Can), Steve Cavanaugh (Shadow of Doubt, Blood Feuds) PJ Brown (Veep, Love).
90 mins Drama/Coming of Age/Comedy
Candy injects the “fun” into her dysfunctional life. When your brother is found by a neighbour naked and drunk, you’re stuck with a caveman of a boyfriend, you have a dickhead boss, and the madness of everyday life competes with your mother’s need to appear “normal,” you have to peek between the cracks to find the warm rays of hope. But, maybe normalcy is just a construct for other people. And, maybe breaking out of the institution is more important than fitting in. After years of trying to save those she loves, it's time for Candy to save herself.
Alicia Slimmer's film is a vibrant and colourful tale that will have you cheering along. It is an American Indie film through and through but it carries a huge heart and a taste for the Hollywood fantastical.
Go see if you liked SIXTEEN CANDLES and or THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS.
A CHICK FLICK
DIRECTED BY LUCY MCKENDRICK
14 mins INTERNATIONAL SHORT Comedy/Drama
Two crazy chicks. One hen. A young woman is forced to reconnect with her hippie mother in order to euthanize their beloved pet chicken after it is mauled by a fox.
RETURN TO SENDER
DIRECTED BY CAT BAILEY
2 mins INTERNATIONAL SHORT - Animation
Charlie is happily in love with Rose, his girlfriend, and sends her a series of love letters through the mail to convey his affection. One evening, however, while the two are at dinner, they have a fight. Charlie returns home and rashly writes a breakup letter. But when he goes to mail the letter, the mailbox will not accept it…
Saturday 6th May 7:15pm
WHY SIEGFRIED TEITELBAUM HAD TO DIE
DIRECTED BY AXEL B. STEINMUELLER
100 min 40 sec Comedy/Thriller/Crime
After a dangerous case, hitman Stefán barely survives from a shot in the head. After recovering He reports to his superiors, but his recollections seem fuzzy. Was he involved in the controversial Teitelbaum-case the officials are investigating? He denies everything but is he telling the truth? Can he tell the truth? Does he even know what the truth is? An off-beat cat and mouse chase will reveal all!
Go see if you liked BURN AFTER READING and or CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND
DIRECTED BY CYRUS NESHVAD
15 Mins INTERNATIONAL SHORT Thriller
Cyrus Neshvad directs this gripping psychological drama about the relationship between a father and son. With his son in a coma a father cannot forgive himself and move on but then his son starts to appear to him in terrifying ways.
KEOMA / BLACK
DIRECTED BY AVIV KOSLOFF
4 mins MUSIC VIDEO
Two bad Santas, their getaway driver, a gun, a baseball bat and the gas tank of a 1970 Chevy.
Sunday 7th May 12pm
ALFIE BOE – ON THE WHEELS OF A DREAM (plus documentary Shorts)
DIRECTED BY LISA EDWARDS
56 mins Documentary
Alfie Boe is a staggering musical talent and a world-famous tenor. In Alfie Boe: On the Wheels of a Dream, Mr. Boe pursues his passion - to use his amazing voice to crossover into the world of rock-n-roll.
This film showcases his tremendous musical range as he traverses the musical genres from opera to musical theatre to contemporary rock. It also shows the struggle, the disappointment and the stress, which exists even for an artist and performer of his calibre. On The Wheels of a Dream is a portrait of an artist attempting to break the mould and reach new heights.
Go see if you liked LIFE ON THE ROAD and or TRUTH OR DARE
THE WINDS OF DOWNHILL
DIRECTED BY TODD WIDER AND JEDD WIDER
21 mins Short Documentary
Seven homeless people share their views on life, art and beauty, as well as their fears and dreams, at a New York City soup kitchen. We are reminded that all people, regardless of how poor or mentally ill, have humanity, and it is this humanity that allows one to see the poetry that surrounds us all, despite the desperation of one's own circumstance.
DIRECTED BY TOM WAKELING
6 mins Short Documentary
What if your livelihood became obsolete? ROSTRUM invites you to meet Chris King, a 50 year veteran of the film industry, struggling to find work for the last Rostrum studio in London.
DIRECTED BY ANDREAS GRÜTZNER
8 mins Short Documentary
A family portrait told through Super8 footage and old tapes from 1975-77. In it’s essence the question about belief. A boy and his dilemma to stand between the wish for freedom, struggle in adoleszenz and strong urge for Christian enlightenment from his family background. At the same time the few back on death of parents and remaining questions.
DIRECTED BY IAN WINSTANLEY
14 mins Short Documentary
Telling the story of working ballet dancer, Laura Purkiss. She is a soloist with Birmingham Royal Ballet with a unique difference; she is also Laura Tye; mother of two.
The portrait of Laura not only affirms the difficulties of balancing everyday family life with the hard work and dedication it takes to dance with a world class ballet company; but seeks to uncover the social challenges in returning to the work place after child birth. A day in life for Laura is not easy, but she maintains a steadfast approach to her family and career. Laura shines a light on the important things in life and sets an important example to her daughters by revealing what it takes to be a 21st century working mother.
Eye of India
DIRECTED BY BENN BERKELEY
3 mins EXPERIMENTAL FILM
Eye of India is a visual record of a journey across India that showcases the diverse culture of one of the world’s fastest developing nations.
Sunday 7th May 2:20pm
ONE NOTE AT A TIME
DIRECTED BY RENEE EDWARDS
94 mins Documentary
As Dr John says in the film, 'If the musicians ain't got the chance to live, then what chance has the music got?' Filmed over four years, this film pays homage to the musicians who courageously returned to their hometown of New Orleans after the devastation following Hurricane Katrina.
Go see if you liked TREME’ and or WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE
DIRECTED BY JEREMIAH KIPP
Starring - Mandy Evans Griffin Robert Faulkner and Jim True- Frost (The Wire),
16 mins INTERNATIONAL SHORT - Drama
PICKUP is a compelling film which allows the audience to take a deeper look into the psyche of a woman who appears to have it all. Through her banal daily routine, Megan develops an addiction that begins to unravel her carefully put together life. She is grappling with wanting more, but is feeling tremendously guilty because she already lives the "ideal perfect life".
EVER DIMMING ROOM
DIRECTED BY MIN REID
7 mins MUSIC VIDEO
I have a degenerative eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa. After years of hope, injections, surgeries and pills... the disease still rapidly progresses. There is no cure. I am going blind.
Sunday 7th May 4:50pm
FAMILIAR FACES SHORTS
THE KIDNAPPING OF RICHARD FRANCO
DIRECTED BY DAN CLARK
Starring – Daniel Rigby, Kelly Wenham and Partick Baladi (The Office, Mistresses).
13 mins UK SHORT - Comedy, Thriller
A married couple going through tough times decide to kidnap a has-been movie star for money to save their relationship. But things don't go to plan.
DIRECTED BY LORRAINE NICHOLSON
Staring – Stephen Dorf, BK Cannon, Hopper Penn, Kwame Boateng and Moises Arias.
18 mins INTERNATIONAL SHORT - Drama
Six teenagers are led into an intriguing game of survival by their guidance counsellor (Stephen Dorf).
DIRECTED BY TOM SHRAPNEL
Starring - Donald Sumpter (Game of Thrones, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Adam Long (Happy Valley).
17 mins UK SHORT – DRAMA/THRILLER
A contemporary Western set in the heart of rural East Anglia, THE KNACKERMAN tells the story of Ron - an aging Knacker who is responsible the disposal of ill horses. When his own horse falls ill, Ron must decide its fate and in doing so, face his own mortality.
DIRECTED BY OLIVER MILBURN
Starring - Sarah Parish (Cutting It, Mistresses), Robert Emms (War Horse, Mirror Mirror, Kick-Ass 2)
14 mins UK SHORT Drama
Joanna (Sarah Parish) is selling her country home, Steven (Robert Emms) is a prospective buyer. What should be a simple viewing becomes something else entirely...
A film played out in real time as buyer and seller move from room to room: Steven scrutinizing the house and Joanna scrutinizing him. Neither will find what they’re expecting...
DIRECTED BY BRIAN PETSOS
Starring – Oscar Isaac (Star Wars Episode VII, Ex-Macina, Inside Llewyn Davis).
19 mins INTERNATIONAL SHORT Drama
An origin story, of sorts—Lightningface stars Oscar Isaac as Basil Stitt, who in the aftermath of an inexplicable incident, decides to sequester himself inside his apartment, setting the stage for a profound transformation.
DIRECTED BY OLIVER CULLEN AND JAKE CULLEN
Starring Rob James-Collier (Downton Abbey) and Isy Suttie (Peep Show),
13 mins UK SHORT - Comedy, Romance
In an isolated petrol station, a hapless and hopeless worker whiles away the night shift dreaming of a Hollywood style romance. Is this the night his prayers are answered? THE ATTENDANT tells the story of Alex, a hapless and hopeless romantic, who has worked the graveyard shift of an isolated petrol station longer than he cares to remember.
DIRECTED BY KIERAN GRANT AND LUCY BARRICK
Starring – Bradley Walsh
11 mins UK SHORT - Drama, Mystery
An electrician answers a call-out in the dead of night and is drawn into the bizarre and melancholy world of a man (Bradley Walsh) haunted by Christmas. Can he fix the lights, or is the darkness in the house best left alone?
ONE NIGHT IN ATLANTA
DIRECTED BY JULIET DARLING
Starring – Ben Wishaw (The Hour, Skyfall, Spectre) and Kenneth Tigar.
5 mins EXPERIMENTAL FILM
Keeping together the expected and the unexpected. UK actors Ben Wishaw and Kenneth Tigar feature in a 5 minute experimental film by Juliet Darling.
Sunday 7th May 7:15pm
DIRECTED BY SEBASTIAN ARMESTO
Starring – Jacob Casselden and Sophie Roberts.
79 mins Documentary/ Mocumentary
Ben was adopted. All his life, he's avoided tracing his roots. Now he's a father himself, to a baby girl. And he's going to find his biological parents for her. Ben travels the length of a country to find a truer meaning of his life in a journey told in a documentary styled narrative.
Go see if you liked THE OFFICE and or CATFISH
DIRECTED BY TAMZIN MERCHANT
19 mins UK SHORT Drama
Starring - Matthew Lewis (Harry Potter, Ripper Street), Maggie Steed (Florence Foster Jenkins), Rakhee Thakrar (Eastenders) and James Smith (The Thick of it).
A former actress who has moved into a carehome after the death of her husband struggles to remember day-to-day things and can't even recognize her son, but can remember every word of her most famous role: Shakespeare’s Juliet.
LITTLE PARTY QUEEN (BAND : NEXT IS BEST)
DIRECTED BY ETIENNE FU-LE SAULNIER
3 mins MUSIC VIDEO
In a world of glitter and skin-tight Lycra, will Travis regain his honour during this final and reckless Chinese Finger Wrestling duel against Hogan, his sworn enemy?
DIRECTED BY RUSSELL HAIGH
4 mins UK SHORT - Animation
Somewhere on a distant ocean, two pirates, Redbeard and Bluebeard, share a bottle of rum, as well as the spoils from their latest haul of booty. A cheerful truce exists between the two men as they divide all the plunder exactly in half… that is until the cabin boy lifts the lid on an unusually long casket.