Oliver Stone Takes Top Billing at the Fifth Harrogate Film Festival

Harrogate Film festival Oliver Stone

The Harrogate Film Festival is set to return for a fifth year, with events taking place between April and September. This year’s festival will feature a 30th-anniversary screening of the Oliver Stone directed film JFK, followed by an exclusive Q&A with the legendary Hollywood director.

Festival Director, Adam Chandler, says “We are beyond thrilled to be welcoming Oliver Stone to the Harrogate Film Festival. JFK is an amazing piece of cinema that set a high bar for the political thrillers that followed it.” 

Harrogate Film festival Oliver Stone

“A series of mini-festivals”

The epic political thriller celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. It looks closely at the events surrounding the assassination of the United States President John F. Kennedy and the alleged cover-up through the eyes of former New Orleans district attorney, Jim Garrison. Starring Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Oldman; JFK received eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor. 

The 2021 festival has been meticulously planned to ensure events can still take place within COVID-19 restrictions. Instead of its usual 10-day run, this year’s event will essentially be a series of mini-festivals between April and September. And organisers hope this will enable some of the later events to run face-to-face. The 2021 programme has been curated to include a range of events offering something for people of all ages, from aspiring filmmakers to dedicated cinephiles.

April 23rd – 27th will also see the return of the popular Independent Filmmakers competition, which will run online, alongside a virtual JFK screening and Oliver Stone interview, workshops, virtual experience events, and the annual industry day. 

Adam Chandler, Festival Director with Lewis Robinson, winner of thr Audience Choice Award in 2020

“Immersive and experiential”

All things being well, live events should be making a return in May. And the organisers plan to re-run the JFK anniversary event and Independent Filmmakers screenings in cinemas that month. The hope is that June’s programme of immersive and experiential events, quizzes, films and competitions can all run in person. Depending on the rules at the time, social distancing guidelines will be followed.

Adam says, “Since our 2020 festival, a lot has happened in the world. We have planned the 2021 festival to allow for a fully online event, holding events in person, or a combination of the two. We really hope that by running a full schedule of events we can help bring some normality and joy to film fans. Whatever the situation at the time, all events will be streamed online. The advantage of this is that we can welcome people from across the country; and indeed the world, to our screenings.

He also added: “The Independent Filmmaker’s competition is something that we are extremely passionate about as we know how important it is to be able to offer a platform for talented up-and-coming filmmakers to show their work. These screenings have been a hot ticket in previous years. And there’s no reason to think that they will be anything different this year.” 

Tickets for all events are available from the festival website


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