Now in its 26th year, the latest edition of the Chichester International Film Festival hosts 150 films from 35 countries across six locations. This West Sussex bonanza runs for 20 days from 10-27 August, with Shubhashish Bhutiani’s Hotel Salvation kicking off proceedings as an opening gala screening.
Bhutiani’s debut feature sees an overworked son accompany his 77-year-old father to the holy city of Varanasi, where thousands of Hindus go to die in the hope of eternal salvation. The gentle, poignant comedy has won the UNESCO award at Venice Film Festival and is a contender for India’s Academy Award entry for best foreign language film.
Among the other 149 films screening at the festival are a host of exciting new releases, restorations and classics from across the world. Here are 10 to watch out for.
The Square (2017)
Swedish director Ruben Östlund’s follow-up to Force majeure (2014) won the Palme d’Or at Cannes. It’s an odd, compelling satire focusing on an art gallery director whose life unravels when he loses his mobile phone. Claes Bang leads with strong support from Elisabeth Moss and Dominic West.
Sally Hawkins is on typically excellent form as Canadian outsider artist Maud Lewis in Aisling Walsh’s biopic, an unsentimental yet moving portrayal of the painter’s traumatic life. Ethan Hawke features as Maud’s abusive husband.
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (2017)
Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk’s sequel to An Inconvenient Truth (2006) returns to former US vice president Al Gore’s ongoing attempts at tackling climate change. We follow Gore, as persuasive and charismatic as ever, as he attempts to convince governments to invest in renewable energy on the way to the 2016 Paris Agreement.
The Shout (1978)
In this cult classic from 1978, Alan Bates stars as Crossley, a mysterious wanderer who inveigles himself into the lives of Rachel and Anthony Fielding (Susannah York and John Hurt). Things take a dark turn when Crossley claims he can produce a yell so extreme that it kills anyone who hears it. Jerzy Skolimowski’s unsettling horror masterpiece is presented in a new HD transfer as part of a retrospective dedicated to Hurt, who passed away earlier in 2017.
Mulholland Dr. (2001)
Recently voted the best film of the 21st century so far in a BBC poll of film critics across the world, David Lynch’s film is a monumental, brain-frazzling work. It sees aspiring actress Betty Elms (Naomi Watts) befriend an amnesiac woman (Laura Harring) hiding in her aunt’s apartment, while several other cryptic plot strands weave in and out of the narrative. The film screens in the David Lynch Briefly Revisited strand.
Patti Cake$ (2017)
This debut feature by hotly tipped Geremy Jasper is an energetic tale about a female rapper who lives with her ill grandmother and works in a dead-end bar in New Jersey. First-time actor Danielle Macdonald is a strong presence as the lead and centres a story of heartfelt aspiration that recalls 8 Mile (2002).
Lift to the Scaffold (1958)
Louis Malle’s influential crime thriller screens as part of the Jazz on Film strand, and plays as a fitting tribute to Jeanne Moreau, who died in July. The great French New Wave star plays a rich wife who’s bored with her husband and so hatches a plan to kill him with her lover Maurice Ronet.
Emily Beecham excels as the eponymous London singleton who suffers a meltdown after witnessing a vicious assault on a shopkeeper. Peter Mackie Burns’ debut is a rare beast: an authentic and honest depiction of modern London containing recognisable characters and settings.
A Bigger Splash (2015)
A Bigger Splash sees rock superstar Marianne Lane (an effortlessly cool Tilda Swinton) become distracted from her villa holiday with filmmaker lover Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts) by the arrival of former lover Harry (a livewire Ralph Fiennes). Luca Guadagnino’s sizzling psychological comedy thriller is ripe for revisiting ahead of the Italian director’s forthcoming release, Call Me by Your Name.
Innocent Sorcerers (1960)
Andrzej Wajda’s look at early 1960s Polish youth culture is as affectionate as it is scathing. Co-written by Jerzy Skolimowski and featuring a young Roman Polanski, Innocent Sorcerers sees doctor and jazz fanatic Bazyli (Tadeusz Lomnicki) struggle with the emotional upheaval of falling in love. The film screens as part of a tribute to Wajda.