still from grace by sophie dixon

CineCity film festival showcases work of Brighton academics

Two University of Brighton academics, Frank Gray and Sophie Dixon, feature in the annual CINECITY film festival (5-14 November), and the region’s biggest celebration of cinema.

Presented in partnership with the University of Brighton, the 19th edition of the festival features a mix of outstanding world cinema, new UK independent work, archive treasures, artist talks, and other special events. The CINECITY programme gives audiences first sight of highly anticipated titles ahead of UK release, and showcases many others brought to Brighton from around the world for one-off screenings.

The festival’s main cinema venues are Duke of York’s Picturehouse and The Depot in Lewes, but screenings and events will also take place at venues across the city including Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Fabrica gallery, and Duke’s at Komedia.

Sophie Dixon is a Visiting Lecturer on games design and filmmaking at University of Brighton, and her short film Grace plays as part of CINECITY OPEN on 8 November at Fabrica, among a selection of shorts from local filmmakers chosen from open submissions.  The film is a poetic but questioning exploration of the life of Grace Darling, who became one of the Victorian era’s greatest female celebrities after rescuing survivors from the shipwreck of the SS Forfarshire in 1838.

Frank Gray, Director of the university’s Screen Archive South East, will chair a special event at The Depot on 13 November to mark the 50th anniversary of pioneering documentary The Moon and the Sledgehammer (still below), directed by Philip Trevelyan. Long before the ecological movement was in the spotlight, this film explored the lives of the Page family, living off-grid in a six-acre wood near Chiddingly, East Sussex. You can watch a trailer from the film on YouTube.

still from exploring the moon and the sledgehammer

A screening of The Moon and the Sledgehammer will be followed by a discussion with Barney Snow, a TV factual and documentary film-maker interested in folk stories and rural themes, alongside Joanna Pocock, author of the award-winning Surrender (2018), and part of the Dark Mountain Project – a cultural movement engaged with current ecological, social and cultural issues.


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