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Film Noir UK: First Film Festival Announcement

Film Noir UK launches a new dedicated classic film festival in the UK


FILM NOIR FEST: The Classic Noir and Crime Film Festival

Weston-super-Mare, 15th- 17th November 2024


Film Noir UK, the only dedicated film organisation in the UK celebrating the ever influential world of film noir, announces its first ever film festival. Hosted at the recently reopened Plaza Cinema in the heart of Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset, Film Noir Fest will highlight the many aspects of noir on the big screen with the best restorations from around the world.  


Over the course of the weekend Film Noir Fest: The Classic Noir and Crime Film Festival will include a selection of classic American and British Noir titles in a number of strands including ‘Dangerous Divas’, ‘London in Noir’ as well as a special selection of ‘1950s Mexican Noir’ titles under the festival’s ‘International Noir’ strand.


Film Noir Fest will also include a special ‘Heritage Noir’ strand looking at the influences of early cinema on film noir and three special screenings called ‘Late Night Neo Noir’ which will look at the more modern edge of noir. The festival will also mark the centenary of stars Lauren Bacall (1924–2014) and Lee Marvin (1924-1987). More festival strands will be announced nearer the time.


Director of Film Noir Fest and Co-founder of Film Noir UK, James Harrison says: 

"It’s all very exciting. Not only is Film Noir Fest a brand new festival for the UK, but it’s an unique one as well. Attendees will be able to see the many aspects of crime films including classics from America, Britain and Mexico; all showcasing some of the many directors and stars involved with noir. We’ll also be looking at more modern titles involving Neo Noir as part of the festival. So, there is something for everyone… and it’s all on the big screen!


Given the fact that some of the films we are screening would have been shown at the Plaza during their original runs in the 1940s and 1950s makes this cinema the perfect venue.”  


Company Director of Merlin Cinemas, Craig May says:

"We're thrilled to welcome Film Noir Fest this November to the beautiful art deco Plaza cinema in Weston-super-Mare. While we continue to bring audiences the latest blockbusters, we're also passionate about celebrating the rich heritage of cinema, especially at historic locations like Plaza. That's why we're delighted to host Film Noir UK and help bring the genre's timeless intrigue back to the big screen.”


More information on programmed titles, guests and ticket launch to be announced in July.


Extra Notes:

The Plaza Cinema (Merlin Cinemas): 

Designed by T. Cecil Howitt and originally opened in 1935 as one of the earliest Odeon venues in the UK, the beautiful art deco cinema holds pride of place in the centre of the seaside town of Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset. Running continuously through the 20th century, by the 1990s the cinema had been split into four screens. Calling time on their operation, the Odeon Cinemas Group closed the cinema on June 5th 2023, before it was soon acquired by Merlin Cinemas in July 2023, and reopened in December that year. The venue has been maintained as a cinema serving the community, and extensive work is ongoing to restore various parts of the Grade II listed building. The Plaza cinema still retains its originally installed Compton organ.


Film Noir UK (Run as part of South West Silents):

Launched in 2021 by South West Silents, Film Noir UK is the first dedicated film organisation in the United Kingdom celebrating the ever influential world of film noir.


Just like SWS’ commitment to bringing the very best of silent film titles to new audiences, Film Noir UK's key objective is to celebrate the best, and less well known, film noir titles from the 1940s and 1950s, and showcase them on the big screen with the best restorations from around the world.

But Film Noir UK is not just about the great films released during the classic era of film noir. We will also highlight films that influenced the world of film noir as well as the titles that would later be influenced by these great films.

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