St Albans Cathedral to host premier screening at the second St Albans Film Festival

Tue, 22 April 2014

St Albans Cathedral to screen opening feature film on May 1st to launch second St Albans Film Festival

St Albans Cathedral is to host the opening film of the second international St Albans Film Festival 2014 in association with London Luton Airport, which will take place from 1-4 May.

The theme of this year’s festival is birds and flight, so it is no coincidence that the opening event at the cathedral will be Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’.

The grand opening evening will see the nave transformed into an aviary for the night with a guest appearance from Harry Potter’s owl Hedwig, who will be flying through the Cathedral.

The evening starts at 6.45pm with a Prosecco bar and live music from The Big Sing community choir and The Corenno Singers, a community choir from Wheathampstead, before the screening of this iconic film begins.

There will be lots of other surprises throughout the evening. Tickets start at £10 with £30 VIP tickets available which include a glass of Prosecco, front seven row seats and access to the pre-screening VIP area.

Festival director Leoni Kibbey says: “For a city without a cinema, there is no better venue to screen a movie of epic proportions, such as Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ than the Cathedral. The setting is truly magnificent, and I can guarantee the audience will be impressed by what we have planned for that evening.

“Also, following the resounding success of last year’s festival, this year it is soaring to new heights, with a theme of Birds & Flight, which is of particular relevance to our headline sponsors London Luton Airport.”

More than 100 films will be shown at 16 locations across St Albans, along with workshops and seminars, and a “swim-in cinema” at Westminster Lodge.

The festival will once again be supported by its first Patron, Christiane Kubrick, wife of the late Stanley Kubrick, who lived and filmed much of his work in the area.

A full programme of events, including the opening film to be screened at St Albans Cathedral, is available on Tickets can also be ordered at the box office in the Court Room at the Town Hall in the city centre.

About St Albans and filmmaking:

  • The Cathedral city of St Albans in Hertfordshire is just 20 minutes from St Pancras International and has a strong filmmaking heritage which inspired the festival director Leoni Kibbey, actress and casting director, to create the city's first film festival last year.
  • Arthur Melbourne-Cooper who, in 1895, developed the first British 35mm moving picture camera and was a pioneer in making moving pictures, was born in the City.
  • The much celebrated Stanley Kubrick also came to settle in the area, in which he created and produced some of his most famous work, including ‘The Shining’.
  • The city's Roman aesthetic has been used as a backdrop to many films: St Albans Cathedral was a film location in Sean Connery's 1995 film ‘First Knight’, and in ‘Johnny English’ starring Rowan Atkinson.
  • The 2001 film Birthday Girl starring Nicole Kidman was also partly filmed in St Albans.
  • More recently, several scenes from the film Incendiary, starring Williams, Ewan and Matthew Macfadyen, were filmed in St Albans, and Tom Cruise has recently filmed his new movie with Emily Blunt, All You Need is Kill, in the area.
  • St Albans is in close proximity to some of the best and busiest film studios in the world - Leavesden, Pinewood and Elstree.

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