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Mark Kermode to be patron of Norfolk's new Sir John Hurt Film Trust

PUBLISHED: 17:14 11 November 2019 | UPDATED: 11:12 12 November 2019

Mark Kermode and Anwen, Lady Hurt at the launch of the Sir John Hurt Film Trust  Picture: Andi Sapey

Mark Kermode and Anwen, Lady Hurt at the launch of the Sir John Hurt Film Trust Picture: Andi Sapey

Andi Sapey

Launch of charity for film-lovers and film-makers across Norfolk

John Hurt at Cinema City in Norwich for a screening of The Elephant Man in 2013. 
Photo: Bill SmithJohn Hurt at Cinema City in Norwich for a screening of The Elephant Man in 2013. Photo: Bill Smith

Celebrated film critic Mark Kermode is to be patron of the Sir John Hurt Film Trust.

The new Norfolk charity was launched by the actor's widow, Anwen, Lady Hurt, at Cinema City, Norwich, and included the UK cinema premiere of Snowpiercer, a film featuring Sir John.

Mr Kermode was announced as patron after introducing the film and then hosting a Q&A session about Sir John and Snowpiercer, alongside Anwen. He knew and admired Sir John and said: "It's nothing but an honour. I'm very proud to accept, and a little bit emotional."

The new charity will promote great cinema in Norfolk, screening films in cinemas, theatres and pop-up community venues, working with schools, researching cinema history, and running workshops for groups ranging from aspiring film-makers to people with dementia and their families and carers.

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It will be based at Cinema City, acting as custodian of the historic building on behalf of Norwich City Council. Funding will include rent from Picturehouse, which runs Cinema City's screens, bar and restaurant.

"We are absolutely delighted that Mark Kermode has agreed to be our patron," said Anwen. "Mark has such standing within the industry and such a broad knowledge and understanding of film, that to win his approval so publicly gives a huge boost to everything that we are trying to achieve."

She said the new Trust was a fitting tribute to Sir John. "He was passionate about films, passionate about education and, in the last 10 years of his life, passionate about Norfolk so to bring all of these things together, he would have been thrilled," said Anwen.

Sir John, who died in 2017, starred in scores of films including The Elephant Man, Alien, the Harry Potter films, The Naked Civil Service, I, Claudius, and A Man for all Seasons.

He was described by David Lynch, who directed him in The Elephant Man, as "Simply the greatest actor in the world."

Read more about the Sir John Hurt Film Trust here.

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