Stephen Fry becomes patron of Norwich Film Festival

Stephen Fry has become a patron of Norwich Film Festival. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Stephen Fry has become a patron of Norwich Film Festival. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Stephen Fry has spoken of how his trips to Norwich cinemas were where he first grew to love film, as he announced as a new patron of one of the city's festivals.

Film director Julian Jarrold is a new patron of Norwich Film Festival. Photo: Simon Finlay.

Film director Julian Jarrold is a new patron of Norwich Film Festival. Photo: Simon Finlay. - Credit: � Eastern Counties Newspapers

The Norfolk actor, comedian and national treasure has just been announced as a patron of Norwich Film Festival along with Norwich-born director Julian Jarrold who is known for films such as Kinky Boots and Becoming Jane and the Netflix series The Crown.

Mr Fry said: 'A thriving film festival in my beloved home town gives me such pleasure.

'It was in Norwich that I learned to love film. I spent more time than I probably should have done at the Gaumont on All Saints Green, the ABC on the Prince of Wales Road, the Odeon Anglia Square, the dear old Noverre at the Assembly House and latterly the peerless Cinema City.

'Very proud now to be a patron of a festival that encourages people from Norfolk, Norwich and beyond to be enchanted, beguiled and entranced by all kinds of film that might not otherwise reach them.'

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Norwich Film Festival, which was founded in 2009 by Kellen Playford and takes place in November, aims to provide a platform for emerging and existing filmmakers to showcase their work, and the two new patrons join a list that also includes Olivia Colman, Brian Cox, John Collee and Tim McInnerny.

Craig Higgins, a co-director of the festival, said: 'The continued growth of the festival means that we are attracting support from some of the most talented people in the film business. We are excited that we are putting independent film firmly on the map in not only Norwich or Norfolk, but on a global scale.'

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Filmmakers are now being invited to submit films for the 2017 festival. Short films up to 25 minutes long and from any genre can be submitted. New for this year is the East Anglian Award which recognises the best film from Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. The other categories are: Best Short Film; Best Short Animation; Best Short Documentary; and Best Short Student Film.

For more about Norwich Film Festival and how to submit your film, visit

Do you have a Norwich arts story? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at


Patrons can provide support to organisations in a number of different ways.

Many give their endorsement to the great work an organisation does and in turn help to raise its profile, while some give financial assistance or offer help and advice.

Craig Higgins, one of the co-directors of Norwich Film Festival, said the festival's patrons all played a valuable role in enhancing its reputation.

Mr Higgins said: 'It's a great opportunity to have someone who is well known in the business offer their seal of approval or their acknowledgement. With most of our patrons it's 'in name' support. We can also go to them with a question or for advice if we need to.

'Our patrons are very busy people and it is fantastic for us to have that support from them...It raises the festival's profile when you have got people who are really well known in the business saying 'this is a great thing for Norwich and we are happy to give our support.''


Cinema City and Cinema City Education - the late John Hurt

Royal Norfolk Agricultural Organisation - The Queen

Norfolk Wildlife Trust - The Queen

The Norfolk Churches Trust - The Prince of Wales

East Anglia's Children's Hospices - The Duchess of Cambridge

Children's charity Break - Jake Humphrey

Norwich Playhouse - Timothy West and Prunella Scales, Stephen Fry

Hostry Festival - Bernard Hill, Olivia Newton-John, Rose Tremain

Domestic abuse charity Leeway - Nina Nannar

Hillside Animal Sanctuary - Martin Shaw

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