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Tickets will be available from the Festival Desk at the Park Inn Palace.

Presenting…Southend-on-Sea Film Festival 2014!

I am delighted to welcome you to the 2014 Southend-on-Sea Film Festival, which will take place over the first spring Bank Holiday, from Friday 2nd to Monday 5th May. As you can see from the festival schedule, we will be presenting a diverse programme, everything from classics to the most recent independent productions, with documentaries, World cinema, family favourites, and much more, in between.

However, the ‘Really Big News’ is that we will be presenting, at our Opening Gala, no fewer than three comedy shorts, featuring Peter Sellers, that have been thought lost for over 50 years. This truly historic screening, digitally re-mastered from the original 35mm prints, will take place at the Odeon on Thursday 1st May – and you won’t want to miss it!

You will see that, this year, we will be at the Park Inn Palace Hotel for all four days of the main festival. Using one, central, location will benefit all, organisers and patrons alike, and the Festival Team and I look forward to welcoming you to ‘SFF 2014’. So please keep checking back here for more ‘Latest News’.

paulPaul Cotgrove, Festival Director

Principal Sponsors1

BFI Lottery Sponsor Southend Council Sponsor Park inn Sponsor BMTK Sponsor Genting Sponsor Royals Sponsor Cinelab Sponsor Pier View Sponsor Pace Sponsor White Bus2

latest news

13th April – Actor/producer Joely Collins jetting in from Canada!

We are delighted to announce that Joely Collins (elder daughter of Phil Collins) will be flying in from her home in Vancouver to join us. RADA trained, she has a highly successful acting and producing career in Canada, spanning over twenty years. Joely is very much looking forward to the Opening Gala screening and, on Saturday 3rd May at 6pm, she will be introducing her award-winning film ‘Becoming Redwood’, which she produced.      

Mackenzie Crook10th April – Mackenzie Crook will be joining us for our Gala Opening Night!

We are thrilled that Mackenzie Crook will be joining us at the Opening Gala. Following a successful career as a stand-up comedian, Mackenzie shot to fame as Gareth Keenan, the quirky geek with a funny haircut, in the TV hit The Office. He then shared the big screen with Al Pacino in The Merchant of Venice, with Heath Ledger in The Brothers Grimm and with Johnny Depp in Finding Neverland. Bonding with Mackenzie, it was Johnny Depp who recommended him for the part of Ragetti, his best-known role, in the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Mackenzie is a huge Peter Sellers fan – and we are delighted he will be joining us for this Gala screening of the legendary comedian’s ‘lost’ films. The Opening Gala is on Thursday 1st May. Tickets are selling fast: click here to buy tickets and join Mackenzie and our other very special guests on the red carpet!  


John Otway News

30th March – John Otway and Bruno Wizard at the festival – in person!

We are absolutely delighted to announce that John Otway, Rock and Roll’s (infamous) Greatest Failure, and underground punk legend Bruno Wizard will be joining us for the screenings of their documentaries, Rock and Roll’s Greatest Failure: Otway the Movie and The Heart of Bruno Wizard. The shows will be introduced by music consultant Daryl Easlea, who will host post-screening Q&As. We are also delighted that Elisabeth Rasmussen, the director of The Heart of Bruno Wizard, will be joining us.

10th March – ‘Rock and Roll’s Greatest Failure’ at the Festival!

As the film programme comes together we are delighted to announce that Rock and Roll’s Greatest Failure: Otway the Movie, will be screening on Friday 2nd May at 8.30pm. We are incredibly privileged to be able to present this wonderful documentary, which is only playing at selected festivals. It tells the almost unbelievable story of musician John Otway who, in the Seventies, was signed by Polydor, with a hefty advance, as ‘the next big thing’ – only for his ‘next big hit’ to arrive some 25 years later!! This terrifically entertaining film chronicles the anarchic, shambolic spirit that has endeared Otway to his fans, enshrining him as ‘Rock and Roll’s Greatest Failure’! (Full programme, and ticket details, to follow.)

Older news items can be found here


In addition to the many celebrities and guests who will be joining Festival
Patron RAY WINSTONE for the Opening Gala we will also be welcoming
the following very special guests to this year’s festival:

DAN BAKER, writer/director, Hello
DEAN CHALKLEY, director, The Arena
SARA DEE, actress, 15
DARYL EASLEA, author, Censored: Monty Python’s Life of Brian
TRAVIS ELBOROUGH, writer, How We Used to Live
JONATHAN GENTLE, director, Brass Band-on-Sea
JAMES HART, director, Ascension
DAN HARTLEY, writer/director, Lad: A Yorkshire Story
PAUL KELLY, director, How We Used to Live
TOM KING, journalist, The Ghost of St. Michaels
STUART LOCK, actor, The Amazing Mr. Blunden
SYD MOORE, author, Censored: Monty Python’s Life of Brian

JOHN OTWAY, musician, Rock and Roll’s Greatest Failure: Otway the Movie
MARTIN PAVEY, director, 15
ELISABETH RASMUSSEN, director, The Heart of Bruno Wizard
MARK RATHBONE, actor, Ascension
JON ROSLING, writer/director, Five Pillars
LIAM SAINT-PIERRE, producer/director, The Way of the Dodo
CHRIS SHEPHERD, writer/director, The Ringer
GEORGE WATSON, writer/director, Twelve
TOM WEBB, producer, Twelve
MARK WITHERS, director, Bonobo
BRUNO WIZARD, musician, The Heart of Bruno Wizard


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