The Tyne Valley Film Festival will return in March to 17 Northumberland venues

Cinemas are rare in Northumberland, with only one full-time independent in Hexham and a multiplex in Cramlington.

However, for 10 days in March the big screen will come to towns and villages all along the Northumberland section of the Tyne, and even into Northumberland National Park with the second Tyne Valley Film Festival.

The festival was created in 2019 and everything was finalized for the 2020 event – before it was brought to a halt by the Covid pandemic. It returns in 2022 with 35 screenings in unique locations ranging from pubs, bookshops and village halls to the iconic Hexham Abbey and Sill Visitor Center near Hadrian’s Wall.

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The highlight of the program is the screening of the 1925 silent classic The Phantom of the Operainside Hexham Abbey, accompanied by a live organ score. Other highly anticipated events include David Byrne’s opening night “party screening” America Utopia and the North East Film Archive Hexham on cinema.

The organ at Hexham Abbey, which will accompany the Phantom of the Opera live as part of the Tyne Valley Film Festival

Hadrian’s Wall 1900 festival also has a preview – as there are screenings of the archive film The living wall at the Sill, followed by a guided walk on the wall itself on March 20 and 27.

When selecting the films, Chris Kelly of Forum Cinema said: “The most important thing that makes it (the Tyne Valley Film Festival) unique is that it is community programmed. Le Forum Cinéma runs the festival, but we work with other community organizations and rural film clubs, who choose the films themselves.

Chris Kelly of Forum Cinema in Hexham
Chris Kelly of Forum Cinema in Hexham

“We chose our own selection, but most of them are chosen by the organizations screening the films. So we have 17 theaters and 26 community organizations involved. Either they screen the film themselves and we support them, or they’re sponsoring a film at the Forum in the Cinema.”

David Nixon, Director of Forum Cinema and Founder of the Tyne Valley Film Festival, said: “After the uncertainty of the past two years, we are delighted to relaunch the festival in March 2022.

“Our mission at The Forum is to ‘build community through cinematic experiences’ and the Tyne Valley Film Festival truly encompasses that. We are proud to be able to support all of these great film clubs and community organizations to help them showcase the best films from around the world directly to rural communities in the region.

For more information visit the Tyne Valley Film Festival’s website or choose a program from the Cinema Forum.

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