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Bury Festival celebrates 100 years of women’s suffrage with film season

PUBLISHED: 16:59 17 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:59 17 May 2018

Suffragette, starring Helena Bonham Carter, Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep, opens the film programme at this year's Bury Festival which marks 100 years of women's suffrage. Photo: Pathe

Suffragette, starring Helena Bonham Carter, Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep, opens the film programme at this year's Bury Festival which marks 100 years of women's suffrage. Photo: Pathe

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Bury Festival opens today and once again film offers an important alternative strand in what was once purely a music event.

Sigourney Weaver as Ripley in the female led science fiction action movie Alien, being shown as part of the Bury Festival. Photo: 20th Century Fox Sigourney Weaver as Ripley in the female led science fiction action movie Alien, being shown as part of the Bury Festival. Photo: 20th Century Fox

This year the film programme, screened at the Abbeygate Cinema and curated by general manager Jonathan Carpenter, commemorates the centenary of women gaining the vote at the end of World War One. A diverse programme will allow audiences to see some genuine classics back up on the big screen.

The festival season opens tonight with a screening of Suffragette, starring Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep and Helena Bonham Carter.

Jonathan said: “Film is an integral part of any modern arts festival and the Bury Festival is a long standing, very successful event, which brings a lot of people into the town, and its very important that an independent, locally run cinema like Abbeygate, is part of the programme.

“Last year I programmed a Made in East Anglia strand for the festival, so when I looked around for a theme for this year I thought it would be great to mark 100 years of women getting the vote. Suffragette was the obvious choice to open the festival programme but equally exciting was the opportunity to delve into a catalogue of great films featuring strong roles for great actresses.”

Out of Africa (1985) starring from left: Robert Redford and Meryl Streep, forms part of the Bury Festival celebration of 100 years of women's suffrage. Photo: Universal Out of Africa (1985) starring from left: Robert Redford and Meryl Streep, forms part of the Bury Festival celebration of 100 years of women's suffrage. Photo: Universal

Among the films featured in the festival this year are Hidden Figures, the true story of a group of African American mathematicians who were instrumental in landing Neil Armstrong land on the moon, two campaigning films Erin Brockovich, starring Julia Roberts and Silkwood with Meryl Streep and Belle, a recent film by a rising young director, Amma Asante, which tells the amazing true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the illegitimate daughter of a Royal Navy Captain and an African slave, who was raised at Kenwood House in London by her aristocratic great uncle.

The festival will also offer film fans the opportunity to see some Oscar-winning greats featuring strong-willed heroines on the big screen including Sigourney Weaver as Ripley in Alien, Meryl Streep as Karen Blixen in the epic Out of Africa and Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins.

The Bury Festival film programme will be screened at the Abbeygate Cinema in Hatter Street, Bury St Edmunds.

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