Borderlines - Britain's biggest rural film festival - 23 March to 1 April

Britain's biggest rural film festival, Borderlines Film Festival opens at over twenty venues across the border country of Herefordshire, Shropshire and Powys from Friday 23 March to Sunday 1 April.

Borderlines celebrates its fifth year with a special BAFTA premiere of the utterly compelling The Loves of Others, recently named Best European Film of the Year. It also showcases a season of Bollywood blockbusters, marks the 25th anniversary of the Greenham women's peace movement, premieres the work of regional film makers like BBC Flog It!'s Mike Jackson, and expands on Borderlines' winning formula for taking feature film into the heart of the country.

Last year nearly 10,000 people attended the Festival. “The Borderlines programme has proved more and more popular and it’s great to see so many local people taking the chance to enjoy the best films from around the world,” says Borderlines Director, David Gillam. This year's top tips are the fantastic Pan's Labyrinth, the hilarious Running With Scissors and two excellent documentaries, China Blue, about how your jeans are made, and The Railroad All Stars about a group of prostitutes who form a football team.

Major new international releases, due for the big screens of Hereford, Ludlow or Shrewsbury, range from Patrice Chereau's emotionally complex Gabrielle (France, a follow-up to Chereau's Cannes-winner La Reine Margot); the French psychological drama, The Page Turner, and Miss Potter with Renee Zellweger.

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Critical younger audiences meanwhile will be making up their minds about,Gary Winnick's film version, Charlotte's Web, and listening to the likes of
Kate Winslet, Ian McKellen and Bill Nighy in Bristol-based Aardman Animations' Flushed Away.

To celebrate 60 years of Indian Independence Borderlines’ Indian film season opens with the Satyajit Ray classic Pather Panchali. Also up for screening is the most popular Hindi films of all times, Aditya Chopra's Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and India's entry for this year's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, Rang de Basanti, a brave piece of political cinema that has inspired protest marches across India.

In 25 Years Since Greenham, women directors will introduce Carry Greenham Home by Beeban Kidron, (director of Bridget Jones 2) and Amanda Richardson, and A Common Cause by Jane Jackson. Jackson's 1983 fly on the wall documentary followed women protesters from Chester to Greenham. As the Government debates a replacement for the Trident nuclear submarine, Several of the women featured will reunite for the Borderlines Debate to reassess what became the most significant women's protest movement since the Suffragettes.

Borderlines is an opportunity to showcase regional filmmakers.

While Worcestershire's Mike Jackson, location director on BBC 2's Flog It! premieres his fifteen minute short on the Hancock family's Bishops Frome farm, A Pocket of Hops, The Rural Media Company will screen their Costa del Marches, a film on global warming starring Robert Duncan (Gus in Drop the dead donkey).

The heart of the country is at the heart of Borderlines and the Flicks in the Sticks Festival programme will include the visually sumptuous Volver, which won director Almodovar the European Film Award for Best Director and Penelope Cruz Best Actress Award; Richard E Grant's tragic, moving and terribly funny Wah-Wah; Al Gore’s passionate and inspirational An Inconvenient Truth; and one of the finest dance documentaries ever made Ballet Russe.

It's this unique programme, which has persuaded the first pub in the country to turn itself into a film festival venue. Simon and Alison Durrant from the Green Dragon (voted Country Pub of the Year in 2006) at Bishops Frome plan to screen what they can - especially Mike Jackson's locally-filmed A Pocket of Hops. "Local film and real ales: what more could you ask for?" asks landlord Simon.

Borderlines Film Festival runs across the region from Friday 23 March to Sunday 1 April 2007. Venues confirmed to date include Hereford (The
Courtyard), Ludlow (Assembly Rooms),Leominster (Lion Ballroom), Ross-on-Wye (St Mary's Hall) and Abergavenny; villages include Ballingham, Bosbury, Brilley, Burghill, Clifford, Clun, Clungunford, Dilwyn, Garway, Gorsley, Kingsland, Ledbury, Leintwardine and Presteigne.

Posted: Sun - January 28, 2007 at 05:54 PM