New film festival will focus on rare cinema treasure

Overnight film festival at the Queen Hotel in Eastbourne SUS-160217-125516001
Overnight film festival at the Queen Hotel in Eastbourne SUS-160217-125516001

Next weekend sees the Overnight Film Festival land in Eastbourne for the first time.

This is a new communal cinema experience which will take place at the Queens Hotel on the seafront over the weekend of February 26-28.

The festival is curated by a variety of female cross-arts guests - actor Ariane Labed, writer and broadcaster Emma Dabiri, and filmmaker Jenn Nkiru as well as the Overnight Film Festival team.

It will feature vintage nuggets such as Loves Of A Blonde on Friday evening at 7.30pm to kick off the event in style, and then the film gold just keeps on coming.

For instance on Saturday morning at 11am will be Bad Hair (2013) which is Venezuelan filmmaker Mariana Rondón’s sharply observed, brilliantly acted and refreshingly unsentimental drama about childhood gender identity and mother/son dynamics amid the bustle of inner city Caracas. Other highlights are Pariah, Woman Of The Dunes and Eve’s Bayou - among many.

Spokesman Manish Agarwal said: “We’ll be converting the hotel’s splendid ballroom into a bespoke cinema in order to screen a diverse programme of films old and new, many of them off rare 35mm prints.

A full list of titles can also be found at We’ve already sold out our sleepover tickets and are now selling non-sleepover tickets for individual days or the whole weekend to ensure as many people as possible can join us to watch some incredible films, have some great conversations and enjoy some fun parties too.”

The specially selected programme – primarily screening off 35mm film – includes such rarely seen films as Au Hasard Balthazar (1966). This is Robert Bresson’s unflinching and utterly sublime story about a saintly donkey’s life in rural France and this is an arduous, open-to-interpretation journey that Jean-Luc Godard hailed as “the world in an hour and a half”. Beautifully composed, edited and scored, yet also brutally naturalistic in its depiction of the hardships that the titular beast of burden endures, this concise spiritual allegory boasts an unforgettable central turn by the young Anne Wiazemsky as Balthazar’s loving first owner Marie.