St Albans Film Festival to Have Open Air Cinema on Abbey Orchard for the First Time

St Albans is planning a mind-blowing film festival for 2017, and for the first time ever, there will be outdoor screenings in the Abbey orchard over the five day festival in July.  2017 marks the fourth year of the festival and is themed around 'the Mind'.

A range of food and drink stalls, and a Prosecco and popcorn marquee will provide refreshments, as well as Ye Olde Fighting Cocks pub.


The Abbey Open Air Cinema will screen family favourites,blockbusters and iconic films such as Kong: Skull Island. The films confirmed for the festival are:

Weds 5 July, The Man with Two Brains - 8pm  £10

1983 American science fiction comedy film directed by Carl Reiner and starring Steve Martin and Kathleen Turner

Thursday 6 July, Thelma and Louise - 8pm £10

1991 American road film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Geena Davis and susan Sarandon).

Friday 7 July, Inside Out - 12.30pm -  £10 (children: £3)

2015 Oscar-winning 3D computer-animated comedy adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. "The best children's film ever made" according to The Telegraph

Kong Skull Island  - 4.30pm  £8

2017 American action-adventure film, a reboot of the King Kong franchise, starring Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L.Jackson and John Goodman. 

Lion  - 8pm  -  £10

Recent 6 times Oscar-nominated film about a 5 year old boy who gets lost on the streets of Calcutta. Starring Nicole Kidman, Dev Patel, Rooney Mara.

Sat 8 July, Blues Brothers - 8pm £10 (prize for the best fancy dress)

1980 cult American musical crime comedy directed by John Landis and starring John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd 

Other highlights of the festival are set to include Virtual Reality at the Clocktower, workshops, speakers and discussions throughout the city and an Internatonal short film competition.  The will also be an all day screening of the finalists in the short film competition at the beautiful Odyssey cinema, one of the world's first cinema's as we know them today.  The Odyssey will also be hosting the awards ceremony to close the festival on 9th July.

In the past four years the St Albans Film Festival has earned its place alongside the bigger international film festivals, gaining credibility by attracting over 1,500 entries from filmmakers from 40 countries into its short film competition, and also securing Chris tiane Kubrick, widow of film directing legend Stanley Kubrick as its Patron. 

The city of St Albans has an impressive filmmaking history.  It was the birthplace of Arthur Melbourne-Cooper; the pioneer of moving pictures, as well as being a second home to Stanley Kubrick.  And it is this authentic film heritage that has made the festival a success over the past few years.   

Leoni Kibbey, festival director, says: "In our first three years, we have established a reputation for putting on an innovative and ambitious programme of events, and using the festival to look at a particular theme.  This year I am so excited to announce that we will be opening the Abbey Open Air Cinema, in the Abbey Orchard. This will be an absolutely magical setting in which to enjoy some fantastic films, in the shadow of the stunning Cathedral and we are very grateful to the Cathedral for helping us to do this.

"One of the reasons we wanted to set up the festival was to create a vibrant community event; an event which enables the community to come together, and celebrate the talent and creativity of the world of film, and connect with each other, in person, over some fantastic story-telling on screen, and escape from the pressures of every day life.

"Our Cathedral is at the heart of Hertfordshire and I cannot think of a better place for the community to gather over a summer weekend to enjoy some brilliant filmmaking."

Canon Kevin Walton at St Albans Cathedral said, “The Cathedral is delighted to host and support this community event, and we wish it every success.”

The St Albans Film Festival would like to thank its lead sponsors for their support this year.  They are: University of Hertfordshire (UHArts), Willmott Dixon, Oaklands   College , and Gabriel Square .


There is still time for local businesses and individuals interested in supporting the festival to get involved.. Please contact the festival organisers, through the website 



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