Feast of film for fans at Wells and Breckland festivals

So you like film? Then you're well and truly spoilt for choice in the days and weeks ahead.

The first Wells Screen-next-the-Sea Film Festival gets under way tomorrow, bringing comedy movie entertainment, talks and much more spanning the decades of cinema right from the time of those original golden silents.

And from Saturday, the 2012 Breckland British Film Festival will celebrate the quality, unique humour and diversity of the nation's film industry from the 1950s to the present day.

The Screen-next-the-Sea Film Festival runs until Sunday and offers a chance to hear a world authority on silent films, Kevin Brownlow, talk on the theme, Those Surprising Silents.

Brownlow, who earned an honorary Oscar for his services to film history, will also introduce his choice of two classics: Harold Lloyd's For Heaven's Sake and Laura La Plante's The Cat and the Canary.

And he's expected to take along his Academy Award statuette too.

The festival, based at The Maltings, has a comedy theme. The 'festival club' opens at 1pm tomorrow ready for a 2.30pm screening of the Ealing classic, Kind Hearts and Coronets.

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A 6pm reception, featuring Brownlow and his Oscar, is followed at 7.30pm by the recent hit, Bridesmaids.

Brownlow's presentation is at 11am on Saturday, with his double bill at 2.30pm. That evening, there is a screening of classic Hollywood comedy, Bringing up Baby.

On the Sunday there is a presentation by Jo Statham entitled Europe Finds It Funny, followed at 2.30pm by the recent French hit, Potiche. The festival rounds off with two Marx Brothers favourites: Duck Soup and Horse Feathers.

The event has been a labour of love for a team at Screen-next-the-Sea, after the idea was first mooted in June 2010. One of them, Joolz Saunders, said this week: 'We are getting very excited now and starting to panic a bit, because soon all our plans will become reality and we do so want it to be a big success.'

All tickets are �5 per screening, and you'll find full details at www.wells-cinema.com. For ticket information call 01328 711085.

There will be various other attractions at the venue during the weekend, including a tie-up with local Fairtrade Fortnight supporters and items that Joolz has tracked down from Wells's late-lamented cinema, The Regal, in Clubbs Lane.

For the Breckland festival, which runs until Sunday, March 25, the district council has teamed up with the Creative Arts East team that runs the Village Screen scheme.

Movies such as The Pink Panther, The Lavender Hill Mob and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy are among those on the programme. Others include The Railway Children, Murder on the Orient Express, Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-rabbit and Jane Eyre.

And the festival gets under way on Saturday at Shropham Village Hall (7.30pm) with Withnail and I.

Film and TV actor Roger Lloyd-Pack – who lives near Fakenham – has been named as patron of the Breckland festival.

Programmes giving details of the nine films to be screened across Breckland can be picked up at libraries, council offices, tourist information centres and from local promoters of each screening. Alternatively, call Sam Dawson on 01362 656870 or email sam.dawson@breckland.gov.uk. And check out The Guide for updates too.

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