I had listened to Nicky’s afternoon programme and thought it a good idea to talk to her about film.   In part, because she defines our festival audience; someone who is enthusiastic about film. But, I discovered that this was not always the case – even better. Nicky is a new convert to film.  And, it is people like Nicky, new to the experience and joy of film, that we want to attract to the festival.   

Nicky’s conversion was realised with the introduction of a fortnightly film slot into her afternoon programme called Classic Film Friday; Nicky talks with two experts about a classic film she has watched the previous week.  

So why the transformation from film indifference to film enthusiast.  For Nicky, it was a journey.

“Friends and family were incredulous that I had not seen films deemed by many to be classics, especially classic films from the 1980s and 1990s”.         

“Really”?, my friends and family would say.  “I can’t believe you didn’t see this film or that film.  And when they would quote a line from a film or reference one or other film, I would look back at them with a blank stare”.

So Nicky took action and decided to share her lack of film knowledge with other listeners who were, perhaps, in the same situation.  Thus, was created Classic Film Friday, watching and talking about films like Jaws and The Godfather. 

“I thought it would be of interest to listeners, who had not seen these films, to talk about them on air by way of an introduction.  And, it would allow listeners who had seen these films to re-live the experience and think back to the occasion when they first had seen these films – most likely in a cinema”. 

STAR WARS?

Since launching Classic Film Friday, Nicky is not short of advice from colleagues on which films to include. 

“There are lots of conversations in the office about which films I should see and talk about.  My BBC Points West colleague, Steve Knibbs, is keen on Star Wars and loses no opportunity to sing its praises – apart from the prequels”.

“And, listeners call in to recommend films.  Most recently, I have had support for Dr Zhivago and Far From The Madding Crowd”.  I then took the opportunity to suggest Cool Hand Luke to Nicky.  Hopefully, she invites me into the studio to talk about this film classic.

AND FAVOURITE

Nicky told me that she was a rom-com addict.

“Before I started Classic Film Friday” said Nicky, “I loved films like Four Weddings and A Funeral, Dirty Dancing, Love Actually, La La Land, you get the picture”.  But I decided to widen my horizon and have now  watched films like The Godfather and Casablanca”.  Casablanca – now there’s a classic.

And, your favourite, so far, I asked.

“I’m really pleased to have seen Jaws because everyone I know had seen the film”.  But, her favourite?

“I like the idea of playing with time” she said, “therefore, my two favourite films have been Back to The Future and Groundhog Day.  The time shifting in both were wonderful to watch”.

HOW TO CHOOSE

But, there are so many classic films, how to choose.  Nicky said she would see what films were appearing on television and select one, allowing listeners the opportunity to watch the film in the lead up to Classic Film Friday. But, she has also tried to link her selection with time of year.  For example, she chose It’s A Wonderful Life to watch over the Christmas holidays and Groundhog Day at the beginning of February.

As the interview continued, I found Nicky warming to the subject and getting ever more excited by the journey she is taking to discover film and especially classic film.

I could not leave the interview without asking Nicky about the Festival.

THE FESTIVAL

“It is exciting for Cheltenham to have a high profile festival as the town is so associated with festivals – music, jazz, literary.  And, a film festival fits in with the town which is already geared up for festivals.  And, it is great that even in its first year, the festival is attracting names such as Mike Leigh, Josie Rourke, Steven Berkoff and others, which will encourage people to go along”.

I finished by asking Nicky which aspect of the festival she was interested in and she replied that she would love to take a peek behind the scenes, to look at film makeup and hairstyle and special effects.  And, she is most welcome.  Nicky was also pleased to see that the festival has a focus on women in film – it is important thought Nicky to encourage women to take part in the film industry.  Opportunities are opening up and they should look at film as a career.

Official Media Partner for the Cheltenham International Film Festival