The 10th anniversary of a film festival will see a week-long celebration of films from all over the world screened at various locations.
The Crystal Palace International Film Festival (CPIFF) is back for another year from March 7-30, presenting 11 world premieres and 17 UK premieres, including an Oscar-nominated feature film called Spitak. Neill Roy, co-founder of CPIFF, said: “Our aim is to entertain. We make every night a social occasion to remember – screening only the very best of the films we receive from across the globe, often in funky venues with amazing cuisine such as South Asian street food.
“The unique, friendly atmosphere and high-quality of film is always very much appreciated. “CPIFF now has two new, incredibly plush cinemas to screen in and so you can choose between the full cinematic experience and the unique, funky venue vibe.”
Music legend Paul Weller has attended the festival in the past. He said: “I’ve loved it and we need it, the whole independent movement is very important.”
The festival will launch at the Everyman Theatre in Crystal Palace before heading to other theatres across South London including the new West Norwood Picturehouse and Annerley Town Hall before the final awards night at Stanley Halls in South Norwood.
Co-founder of CPIFF, Roberta Gallinari, said: “CPIFF has become known as the UK and London’s coolest film festival by the film-makers who compare it to other festivals they have attended. “It stands out from the usual film festival fayre so much that we are clearly doing something right.”
“The quality of films we choose always blows people away. This year it is actually better than ever. Moving from November to March we’ve had an extra three months of entries and so had to cut some quite decent films to fit in even more outstanding ones.” James Moran, writer and director of Cockneys vs Zombies, Severance and Dr Who is a previous CPIFF winner, and has Blood Shed screening this year on horror/sci-fi night.
James said: “We’re really thrilled to be back at Crystal Palace, and it’s lovely to see the festival going from strength to strength. “We’ll be attending both the screening and awards night and up for a Q&A.” Steffen Hacker, writer and director of Ingenium, which will feature this year, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be selected and nominated at CPIFF and will gladly join the festival from Germany.”
The Bromley Boys is another film featuring this year. Its producer, TJ Herbert, said: “Really pleased to be a part of this year’s festival. “CPIFF has long been a champion of independent film and it’s great having our local film The Bromley Boys playing this year.”
James Webber, a UK-based director, said: “It’s fantastic, a really great festival. I’ve had four films screened here now, and as always it’s a full house, sold out audiences. “There’s nothing worse than seeing only film-makers and then just empty seats; it’s not like that here and that’s why it’s worth submitting to and attending.”
Mike Reiss, writer of The Simpsons since it began, had his film screened in 2015 and held a sold-out talk for CPIFF called The Secrets of the Simpsons. He said: “CPIFF is the very best festival we’ve ever been to – and we’ve been to a lot. This is as good as it gets. “CPIFF is a very casual setting but there’s nothing casual about how it’s put together and how high the quality of the films are. There’s food and drink everywhere, it’s been a lot of fun, really top notch.”
Photo, from left, co-founder Roberta Gallinari, front-of-house Rachel Stone, Paul Weller and Ella Milward Hamylton