Square Chapel Arts Centre announces its very first ‘Up North’ – Film & Television Festival (3-29 May 2019)


Up North: Film & Television Festival Brochure

What’s on April-July brochure


On Thursday 21 March, Square Chapel Arts Centre in the heart of Halifax, West Yorkshire launched its first ever Film and Television Festival with the help of well-known actor Ian Puleston-Davies. The Up North: Film and Television Festival is a month-long festival, celebrating northern voices on screen and behind the camera. The festival will run from Friday 3rd to Wednesday 29th May.


Film, stage and TV actor, Ian Puleston-Davies said: I am excited and honoured to host the launch of the film and television festival, and if I could camp outside the building, I would, because it’s going to be a feast! As a Welshman, I feel I have found a new spiritual home at Square Chapel Arts Centre in Halifax. I have fallen in love with the people and the place.”


Ian Puleston-Davies’ career spans over 40 years across stage, film and the small screen. His work includes hit TV shows like Vera, Marcella; the longest running soap Coronation Street; popular children’s animation Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom; and recently the hit Sky Atlantic and Channel 4 series Tin Star, to name just a few.




Northern Voices:

There’s no shortage of screen talent in the north and Square Chapel is bringing audiences a selection of the very best to talk about their careers on screen and behind the camera.


Guests include Leeds born and bred writer, Key Mellor OBE in conversation on Monday 13 May, 7.30pm. Mellor is probably best known for her work on several successful and ground-breaking television drama series including Fat Friends, Band of Gold and The Syndicate. She will be joined on stage for this up-close and personal event by Halifax’s Neil Hurst who starred in Fat Friends the Musical.


On Wednesday 22 May, 7.30pm, audiences are invited to experience an evening with Brian Blessed – the larger than life British actor known for his hearty, king-sized portrayals on film and television. Blessed will talk about his career on stage and screen including anecdotes from Flash Gordon, Black Adder, I Claudius and Z Cars and his many appearances in Shakespearean Productions. He is also an avid climber and has conquered Everest and Kilimanjaro amongst others. His show may not be suitable for people of a nervous disposition or those who aren’t expecting the odd expletive!


Other special guests include Sue Hodge (Sunday 5 May, 4pm) who will be discussing Huddersfield’s Gordon Kaye who is best known for his role as French Café Owner René Artois in the cult TV sitcom ‘Allo ‘Allo! Sue who played Mimi in the long running series, will talk about her friendship on camera and on stage with Gordon Kaye alongside a screening of the classic episode ‘The Flying Nun’.


On Sunday 19 May at 7pm, film and comedy fans can enjoy an evening of laughter with Dave Johns who is best known for the lead role in Ken Loach’s I Daniel Blake. Audiences will enjoy a night of laughter from one of the country’s hardest working entertainers. Dave Johns will be joined on stage for a Q&A by Comedian Lucy Beaumont.



If that’s not enough, TV fans will love the festival’s closing event with Henry Normal (Wednesday 29 May, 7.30pm) where they will hear stories about his incredible career from touring with the band Pulp to writing on TV series The Royale Family and Mrs Merton.


Budding writers can also attend the Writing comedy for TV, Film & Radio’ workshop with Henry Normal (Wednesday 29 May, 3pm). Producer of many TV hits including Gavin and Stacy, The Mighty Boosh, Moone Boy and the Partridge film Alpha Papa, Henry will talk through the common mistakes people make again and again. Henry’s 25 years of experience provides an insight into the specialist art of comedy writing.


Other Q&A Guests and Events:

Other festival highlights include; a Q&A with the director (Steve Sullivan) of the new documentary, Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story (Saturday 11 May, 8pm); a screening of the cult classic Four Lions followed by a Q&A with the CEO of Warp Films, Mark Herbert (Tuesday 14 May, 8pm); and John Shuttleworth – It’s Nice Up North followed by a Q&A with the one and only Graham Fellows (Sunday 26 May, 7.30pm).


John Shuttleworth aka Graham Fellows will be appearing at the National Portrait Gallery in London on May 24 for an hour of music, chat and clips from the acclaimed movie It’s Nice Up North filmed by Martin Parr. The event in London is part of the programme of events complementing the current exhibition Only Human: Martin ParrSquare Chapel Arts Centre in Halifax is the only other place you can see this Q&A. It will be hosted by comedian Lucy Beaumont.


Shuttleworth is the creation of Graham Fellows. He starred in the hit series 500 Bus Stops on BBC2 as well as Celebrity Antiques Roadshow, Pointless and most recently, Count Arthur Strong, all on BBC1. His radio series, The Shuttleworths, is the 10th Best Radio Comedy Series Ever (source Radio Times 2019).



Featuring some of the North’s best bands on screen and live on stage!


Supersonic is the no holds barred documentary about the meteoric rise of iconic ‘90s rock band Oasis, weaving some of their concert footage with candid interviews and a first-hand account of the backstage sibling rivalry that threatened to destroy the band. Fan can join the man who discovered Oasis, Alan McGee, after the screening for an in-conversation event and learn more about how it all happened. Best known for co-founding Creation Records and managing acts such as The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine and The Libertines this promises to be a revealing evening full of stories about the man behind some of the most important bands of the last 30 years!


One not to miss is the new feature documentary The Wedding Present – Something Left Behind (Tuesday 21 May) about the “greatest break-up album of all time” followed by a Q&A with Director Andrew Jezard and BBC 6 Music presenter Chris Hawkins. Featuring interviews with the original band members and key players in the record’s history, the film follows the album’s story through the eyes of the fans who have carried it with them for a lifetime. The story concludes with the band’s homecoming show in Leeds where the city witnessed a blistering and emotional final-ever performance of the album!



Halifax band, The Orielles released their debut album (Silver Dollar Moment) in 2018 and have quickly established themselves as one of the best new indie bands in the country. They are heavily influenced by film and one of their key influences is the shocking 2009 film Dogtooth – about isolated siblings and their controlling parents; from director Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite).


The festival opening night party includes an introduction to the evening by Chris Hawkins (BBC Radio 6 Music), a screening of Dogtooth followed by a live music gig from The Orielles.



The Class Divide:

Class has long been a topic of conversation, from the kitchen sink dramas of the 1950s to the typically gritty classics of the 21 Century. Square Chapel will be screening a number of films, some with a cast Q&A that continues such conversations live on stage. This strand includes firm favourites such as Billy Elliot – the story of class and identity; Room at the Top – filmed in Halifax and nominated for six Academy Awards; and new features like Alife the Odd-Job Boy by young writer and director Aaron Dunleavy.


Dunleavy (from Blackburn) is a rising star in the UK film industry. His debut short, Throw Me to the Dogs, won 10 awards, streamed in over 240 countries and gained praise from Academy Award-winning director Danny Boyle. Aaron’s new short film, Alife the Odd-Job Boy, explore stories of working-class youth; with unscripted and improvised performances. Aaron will be screening a selection of his work alongside with a Q&A on Saturday 18 May from 3pm.


As part of the class divide strand, film fans can see Ken Loach’s Looking for Eric (Saturday 4 May, 8pm) back on the big screen. This is the film that brought Manchester United legend Eric Cantona to the screen. The film is also being screened to celebrate its 10th anniversary. The evening will end with a Q&A with actors Steve Evets (Eric) and Stephanie Bishop (Lilly) and hosted by friend of Square Chapel Ian Puleston-Davies.




The North Remembered:

Fans of the hit TV series Last of the Summer Wine will love Summer Winos Live! (Friday 24 May). Two Men, Two Hundred and Ninety-Five Episodes, One Obsession… Bob Fischer (BBC Radio Tees) and Andrew Smith’s gentle love of Last of the Summer Wine quickly became a quest to watch all episodes, while visiting locations, meeting the cast and, ultimately, turning their passion into a show. The duo will take to the Square Chapel stage to explain just how Last of the Summer Wine has taken over their lives, and what you can learn and love from the world’s longest-running sitcom! Fans can expect dressing up, audience participation, lots of reminiscing, and kazoos.


Films in this strand of the festival includes; A Boy, a Girl and a Bike from 1949 – that was partially filmed in Halifax will be screened on the day the Tour De Yorkshire departs from The Piece Hall (next door to Square Chapel); The Silent Classic Helen of Four Gates (1920) that will be accompanied by live piano; and A Taste of Honey (1961) – the landmark drama featuring great performances from Rita Tushingham and Murray Melvin.


The festival will also pay tribute to Halifax actor Wilfred Pickles OBE who starred in a string of film, television and radio favourites from the 1940s to the 1970s including The Gay Dog (1954), The Family Way (1966) and Billy Liar (1963). After the screening of Billy Liar, there will be a Q&A with Carolyn Pickles – Harry Potter and Broadchurch actor, and great niece of Wilfred.


Hollywood Up North:

This strand of the Up North: Film and Television Festival looks at the films that you might not usually associate with being northern, but the features in this body of programme (and some of the cast and directors) have exported some of the biggest films to a worldwide audience. For example, on Tuesday 7 May film fans can see Alien (1979) back on the big screen the festival celebrates 40 years since this film was first seen. The film was directed by Ridley Scott who was born in South Sheilds and went on to make one of the most iconic films of all time!


Up Hill & Down Dale:

This strand includes some of the best and glorious outdoors indoors, with a selection of stories and breath-taking scenery! On Wednesday 8 May, thrill seeks can experience Life of a Mountain – Blencathra. Award-winning filmmaker Terry Abrahams’ film showcases some spectacular scenes of Blencathra and the surrounding area. From spring lambs to winter’s snows, also featuring contributions from comedian Ed Byrne, broadcaster Stuart Maconie, mountaineer Alan Hinkes OBE and record-breaking fell runner Steve Birkinshaw.


On Wednesday 8 May from 8pm, runners everywhere can come together and enjoy Run Forever. An Award-Winning film about inspirational Huddersfield based fell runner Nicky Spinks and her incredible attempt at the 132-mile Double Bob Graham Round, a run that encompassed the 42 fells of the Lake district twice in just 48 hours. Nicky Spinks will also join audiences after the screening, in person, to tell her story, interviewed by Parkrun and Marathon Talk podcast presenter Tom Williams.


Family film and TV:

Square Chapel haven’t forgotten the littles ones. They have created a strand within the festival that’s dedicated to families – the kids and big kids alike!


For over 20 years the Rotherham born Chuckle Brothers graced our television with some of the funniest slapstick comedy on the box. Square Chapel is delighted to welcome Paul Chuckle to celebrate ChuckleVision (Sunday 12 May, 2pm) with a screening of some classic episodes, stories about making the programme, and a children’s Q&A hosted by Halifax’s favourite Panto star, Neil Hurst.


Wes Anderson’s adaptation of the classic Roald Dahl book, Fantastic Mr Fox, is 10 years old and Square Chapel is will be screening the popular children’s animated filmed followed by a ‘meet the puppets’ session (Sunday 19 May, 2pm) with the creators of the models.


Many of the puppets and models were made by Mackinnon and Saunders, based just outside Manchester. The company have made models for a host of film and television including The Corpse Bride and Bob the Builder!


Square Chapel Arts Centre Film programmer, Dave Garratt said: There’s a real thirst for film and television from the north, from South Yorkshire, all the way up to the Scottish Borders. We are blessed locally with a strong history of film culture that has always expressed our identity and landscape (rural and industrial) on the small and big screen. Whether it be a writer, director, actor or landscape you take away with you from this film and television festival, I hope you come away with a new-found appreciation and pride of what us folk from ‘Up North’ make and send out into the world when it comes to film and television.”


Before each film screening during the month-long festival, the arts centre will also be celebrating its northern roots with a timelapse video called ‘Halilapse’ created by local photographer, Christian Wilkinson. https://www.halilapse.co.uk/


As well as the month-long film and television festival, film fans can enjoy the latest big releases, classics, arthouse films and In Conversation events at Square Chapel Arts Centre with their ongoing film offer. Catch the stunning Rembrandt (Sunday 14 & Tuesday 16 April) and Van Gogh (Sun 9 June & Tuesday 11 June) Exhibition on Screen films or join larger than life actor Brian Blessed (Saturday 15 June) for a screening of the film Flash Gordon followed by a Q&A with the man himself, and if that’s not enough, you can also enjoy live in concert, Bulsara and His Queenies – a remarkable seven piece band that perform the music of Queen.


For a full list of what’s coming up at Square Chapel, Halifax visit Squarechapel.co.uk, pop in or call the Box Office on 01422 349 422.




For more information contact, Sofia Cann, Marketing and Communications Manager, Tel 01422 353073  sofia@squarechapel.co.uk





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