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Rocketman director announced as Norwich Film Festival judge

PUBLISHED: 15:02 15 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:07 15 January 2020

The Norwich film festival team in 2019, pictured from back left: Charlie Hunt, Siobhan Ennis, Michelle Lillie, and front row from left: Kellen Playford and Craig Higgins. Photo: Penny Bartram

The Norwich film festival team in 2019, pictured from back left: Charlie Hunt, Siobhan Ennis, Michelle Lillie, and front row from left: Kellen Playford and Craig Higgins. Photo: Penny Bartram

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The director of Rocketman and Eddie the Eagle has been announced as a judge at this year's Norwich Film Festival.

Actor Christopher Eccleston speaking at Norwich Film Festival in 2019. Photo: Emma Louise SmithActor Christopher Eccleston speaking at Norwich Film Festival in 2019. Photo: Emma Louise Smith

Dexter Fletcher will be joined by Screen International Star of Tomorrow actor Antonio Aakeel, who has performed in Eaten by Lions and Tomb Raider, as a judge, with other names set to be revealed in the coming months.

It comes as the festival's organisers reflected on a successful event last year, in which they championed diversity - 44pc of the film-makers of the 111 short films screened were female.

Meanwhile, 31pc of the selected films came from 18 countries outside the UK, including destinations as diverse as Chile, Nepal and Japan.

Last year the festival, which took place in November, held 44 events and welcomed over 4,000 attendees.

Among them were famous faces who took part in post-screening question and answer sessions and workshops across the city, including David Morrissey, Jessica Hynes, Mark Kermode, Joe Cornish and Michael Smiley.

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The line-up included a rare UK screening of Bong Joon-Ho's acclaimed film Snowpiercer at an event which helped launch the Sir John Hurt Film Trust - a new charity named in memory of Sir John Hurt to promote great cinema in Norfolk.

Other films screened at the festival have achieved further success, such as BAFTA award nominee films Grandad and Kamali.

Sasha Rainbow, director of Kamali, said: "The small team who made Kamali worked tremendously hard and platforms like Norwich Film Festival help create such an important stage for young filmmakers. To be nominated for a BAFTA is beyond incredible for everyone involved."

Two other films, Daughter and Nefta Football Club, have received nominations at this year's Oscars.

Short film submissions are now open for the 2020 festival, which will take place from November 6 to 15, marking the first time submissions have opened since the festival became a qualifier for BAFTAs, which means films can be put forward for nominations at the awards.

The festival benefits from support from local bodies including Norwich Business Improvement District, the University of East Anglia, Norwich University of the Arts and Arnold's Keys.

For more information www.norwichfilmfestival.co.uk

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