Cheltenham International Film Festival

24 May – 5 June 2021

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Cheltenham International Film Festival 21

Part I

Streaming over 35 films, Part I includes premieres from around the world; mostly by emerging filmmakers. Our intention is to support new directors making their mark, and to bring the best of independent cinema to audiences in and around Cheltenham, throughout the South-West and across the UK.

Festival 21 opens with an exclusive preview screening of the Oscar-nominated film, The Father, for which Sir Anthony Hopkins won Best Actor. We close with a preview of Brighton, based on a play by Steven Berkoff, with a cast of well-known British actors, directed by Stephen Cookson.

We have lined up interviews with filmmakers, plus a special “In conversation with Stephen Frears”,  acclaimed BAFTA award winning and Oscar nominated director, along with a special screening of his debut cinema movie ‘Gumshoe’ (1971) – find out more here.

A prestigious jury will consider five films entered in competition for Best Film, Emerging Director – see the films here.

Cheltenham Youth International Film Festival (CYIFF) is a new annual event to highlight our work with young people – we have been giving this year’s young team a wide range of hands-on work experience in programming films for a film festival, writing synopses and critiques, producing film trailers and producing podcasts. Our team of young programmers have also selected four films to be screened during CYIFF –  see the films and find out more here.

We also have a selection of free short films from emerging and established filmmakers, released throughout the first week. These are listed at the bottom of our Festival Programme page.


Part II

Part II of the festival will take place ‘live’ in October with a focus on Black History Month. It will feature film screenings, masterclasses, workshops, and the introduction of the first Film Festival Annual Lecture; plans will be announced shortly.


Steven Berkoff

Carl Hunter

Jan Komasa

Mike Leigh

Simon Bird

Simon Pegg

Stephen Frears

Josie Rourke

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