St Albans Film Festival returns with jam-packed schedule

St Albans Film Festival 2017. Picture: Mark Sims

St Albans Film Festival 2017. Picture: Mark Sims - Credit: Archant

St Albans’ popular summer film festival is returning to the city with another jam-packed schedule.

There will be open-air movie screenings, workshops, international short film competitions, a UK premiere, and an opportunity to experience virtual reality at the fifth annual festival.

The first open air screening, of The Greatest Showman, is a ‘pay what you can afford’ showing - the organisers are asking for a discretionary donation for tickets.

Festival director Matt Bigg said: “At the very heart of the film festival is the fact that it’s a community event, and we are really keen to make the festival as accessible as possible to everyone in the city and district, which is why we have decided to trial the affordable cinema concept.

“We feel it provides us with the perfect opportunity to say thank you to our great city, which has supported us since the early days of the film festival back in 2013.”

He said since announcing the donations screening, they have been inundated with enquiries from local charities about getting involved.

The festival launches at the new St Albans Museum and Gallery on June 26, runs until July 1, and is themed around speed.

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Movies that will be projected onto a giant outdoor screen outside St Albans Cathedral include Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; Bridget Jones’s Diary; Black Panther; Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Talladega Nights; and Chariots of Fire.

There will be a range of food and drink stalls available at the open-air screenings, including from The Abbot’s Kitchen, takeaway barbecue platters, crepes and halloumi fries.

Patrons can also enjoy prosecco, popcorn, gin, and a selection of beers and wine.

On top of the open-air schedule, films will be screened around the city - at The Pudding Stop, The Maltings Theatre and the Odyssey. An awards evening for the short film competition will the held at the Ye Olde Fighting Cocks. Previous years have attracted over 1,500 entries from 40 countries.

Hector, a film about homelessness, will be shown in the Metro Bank on St Peter’s Street on June 30 as part of a Squatlife exhibition running in the new museum.

The University of Hertfordshire, Willmott Dixon, Oaklands College, and Gabriel Square are all sponsoring the festival.

For more information or to get involved, visit