• Film Festival

Southend Film Festival 2023

8th – 11th June 2023

A Message from Southend Film Festival Director, Paul Cotgrove.

I am absolutely delighted to welcome you to the 2023 Southend-on-Sea Film Festival!

From our prestigious ‘Black Tie’, red carpet Opening Gala – the lovely drama ‘A Bit of Light‘, with the filmmakers in attendance to our Closing Gala – ‘Best Geezer‘, the World Premiere of this hilarious take on British crime thrillers, we will be presenting our usual mix of documentaries, World Cinema, new features, and classic films.

Our heritage presentations are always very popular, and this year Thames Transport and the tragic 1953 Canvey flooding will take centre stage.

We also have a wonderful tribute to Southend’s very own Kursaal Flyers, with members of the band joining us for a 50th-anniversary screening of a documentary based on a three-week tour in 1976. Truly, a not-to-be-missed show!

Of course, it’s not just me, and I would like to thank the Festival Team for all their hard work in helping me put this wonderful festival together.

But none of us could have done this without our sponsors, to whom I say a hearty, and heartfelt, “thank you”.

So do come along, and settle down for the pleasures we have in store. I look forward to seeing you.

Paul Cotgrove: Festival Director

Opening Gala screening ‘A Bit of Light’

Genting Casino Westcliff, Park Inn by Radisson Palace Hotel Southend-on-Sea, and Pier View Self Catering Luxury Apartments have sponsored an Opening Gala for a moving drama, directed by Stephen Moyer and written by Rebecca Callard.

The plot revolves around Ella, a woman in her late thirties who struggles with alcoholism, loses her husband and children, and moves back in with her father. Anna Paquin, an Oscar and Golden Globe winner, and Ray Winstone, the Southend Film Festival Patron, star in the film.

The director and key actors, along with producer Phin Glynn, plan to attend the event, depending on their work commitments.

The screening is courtesy of Infinity Hill.

“A Bit of Light”, a British drama directed by Stephen Moyer, will be screened on Thursday, 8th June at 8:30 PM at the Odeon Cinema. Doors will open at 8:00 PM. Tickets are priced at £30, which includes a Black Tie pre-film reception beginning at 7 PM and an after-show party. This event is exclusively for individuals over the age of 18.

World Cinema, Documentaries and more….

You can also join Brian Warrens, Director of The Backstage Centre, in celebrating the art of cinema at the White Bus Film Company’s Southend Film Festival 2023. Experience international screenings and documentary films as he hosts the Park Inn by Radisson Palace Royal View Suite Screen at this year’s festival.

Brian is extremely excited by the closing film for the first night on Friday 9th June, ‘Wenn die Nacht auf der Reeperbahn’ or translated as ‘Nightfall on the Reeperbahn’. This German film was made in 1967 and is subtitled. Directed by Rolf Olsen. The screening starts at 8.30 PM in the Park Inn by Radisson Palace Royal View Suite, and all tickets are £7.00 for any screening.

In this gripping and thought-provoking drama, a young man from a wealthy family becomes entangled in a dangerous web of crime and drugs. He produces LSD for criminals who exploit young girls, subjecting them to a life of exploitation with older men. However, when a tragedy strikes and one of the girls loses her life, the police launch an investigation that sends shockwaves through the entire scheme, putting everyone involved at risk.

Experience the dark underbelly of society as the consequences of their actions spiral out of control, revealing the fragile balance between power and vulnerability. No one is safe in this gripping tale of betrayal, redemption, and the pursuit of justice amidst the shadows of the Reeperbahn.

To find out more about the amazing screen selections for this year’s festival click the link HERE

For the very latest news, you can keep updated on the SFF2023 Socials.