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Q&A with Bristol Film Festival

Bristol Film Festival are bringing their first ‘mini-fest’ to the Bristol Improv weekend. On Sunday 1st May, they’ll be screening four films directed by the innovative and iconic director Wes Anderson at the Bristol Improv Theatre. We chatted to their founder and director, Owen Franklin all about what makes their events so special and where this sterling partnership is headed next!


Q: Hey Owen, we’re really excited to be hosting Bristol Film Festival’s Wes Anderson mini-fest at the Bristol Improv Theatre! Can you tell us a little bit about Bristol Film Festival, what you do and where it all began?

We’re excited to be hosting our first event with Bristol Improv Theatre! We’ve been hosting screenings across Bristol since March 2016, and from day one we have focussed on bringing classic films back to the big screen in iconic Bristol locations, to create unique experiences and evenings out.

Q: How does holding a screening in a unique and tailored venue add to the experience of watching a film?

It can really help bring the film to life, especially if the environment is fitting (The Descent in Redcliffe Caves being the most obvious example of that!). But it also adds to the evening, be that a drinks reception with compered wine tasting or exploring Concorde then watching a film beneath its wings. Plus, it gets Bristolians back into amazing local venues and seeing them in a different setting to what they may normally be used for.

Q: Why have you chosen a Wes Anderson mini-fest for our venue? And how do you envision the day to pan out/ what should people expect?

This will be the first of our “mini-fests” dedicated to the work of particular actors and directors, and Wes Anderson is such an iconic name, with an instantly recognisable style and tone. We’re starting with his latest release, The French Dispatch, but have tried to select a broad range from his filmography to encapsulate Anderson’s whimsical spirit in all its glory!

Q: What has been your favourite Bristol Film Festival experience to date? Any standout moments?

I definitely can’t pick an individual favourite, but some of our one-off events for anniversaries stand out; for example, a 30th anniversary screening of Withnail & I, led by Paul McGann, was a real treat and a fitting celebration of the beloved cult comedy in a milestone year. 

Q: Why is keeping things local such an important aspect of Bristol Film Festival’s work?

I’m a lifelong Bristolian and love the creativity of the city. When you put ‘Bristol’ into your own name, you have to live up to that expectation – but the festival grew organically out of working with local venues and suppliers, so it seemed natural. 

Q: Who is this screening for and why should people come along to this event?

Naturally, it’s a must for any Wes Anderson fan – but also for anyone curious about his work too. It’s a relaxed series of screenings where no deep-rooted prior knowledge is needed to sit back and appreciate his filmography – and by extension, it’s also a lovely way to introduce yourself to the Festival, as we start our Summer programme. We look forward to seeing you there!