Film directors Mike Leigh and Ben Wheatley along with Sherlock writer and star Mark Gatiss are heading to Woodbridge

The Riverside, Woodbridge.

The Riverside, Woodbridge. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Neil McGlone has pulled off quite a coup. He has utilised his impressive list of Hollywood contacts from working in the film industry and put together a programme of events for the Riverside in Woodbridge, which will kick off with a talk from multi-award winning director Mike Leigh.

Neil McGlone

Neil McGlone - Credit: Archant

“I have worked in the film industry for a few years myself and live in Woodbridge,” said Neil, who is a film advisor and researcher.

He is also an advisor to film festivals, including the Midnight Sun Film Festival in Finland, which is where he met Mike Leigh.

“I only met Mike for the first time last year,” he explained. “I met him at the festival in Finland in June. We stayed in touch and became quite pally.”

Mike, best-known for his films Secrets and Lies, Vera and Mr Turner, will be appearing in the first event in Neil’s series, Riverside Nights, which will be held throughout the year.

Director Paul Greengrass visited the Riverside in Woodbridge last year

Director Paul Greengrass visited the Riverside in Woodbridge last year

It all came about after Neil got involved with the venue’s 100th birthday celebrations last year, when Hollywood director Paul Greengrass visited for a special screening of his film Captain Phillips.

“The Riverside asked if I would like to get involved,” said Neil, who went on to interview Paul at the event.

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“They asked if I would like to do something for 2016,” he added.

“I had a bit of a think and thought Paul went down well and in this part of the country we don’t tend to get many big names from the film world.”

Neil started to get in touch with his contacts and subsequently has put together a programme which, although it is not yet complete, is already impressive.

“Having some quite good contacts, I put a list together and that’s how it came about,” said Neil.

The programme begins on Friday, February 26, with An Evening with Mike Leigh, starting at 6.30pm.

Multi-award winning director Mike will introduce a screening of his 2004 film Vera Drake, then discuss his career with Neil, before taking some questions from the audience.

The following event will feature Welsh director Kieran Evans.

“Kieran’s a fantastic young Welsh director who won a BAFTA for his debut film,” he added.

Kieran won the BAFTA for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for his ground-breaking feature film Kelly + Victor.

He will introduce a screening of the film, on Sunday, March 13, at 7pm, before speaking to Neil and answering questions from members of the audience.

On Sunday, April 24, film historian and Oscar winner Kevin Brownlow will pay a visit to the Riverside to discuss his life in cinema and his 1980 Thames TV series Hollywood.

He will regale the audience with stories of his interviews with some of the biggest names in film history, such as Douglas Fairbanks Jr and Frank Capra.

Sherlock fans will want to head to the Riverside this summer, as writer and actor Mark Gatiss is set to appear this August, with the date to be confirmed.

The Riverside will screen a film of Mark’s choosing, and Neil will interview him on stage.

Another exciting booking is Ben Wheatley, who has directed Tom Hiddleston in the upcoming adaptation of J G Ballard’s book High-Rise. The date of Ben’s visit is to be confirmed.

Other events in the programme include Neil Brand and the Sound of Cinema and Indian Film Night with Talvin Singh. More events will be added throughout the year.

With Neil’s contacts book, there are sure to be more Hollywood names heading to Woodbridge in 2016.

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