Our History

The Cheltenham International Film Festival launched on 25th May 2019 and for six days screened feature films and shorts from every continent, including films from celebrated and emerging directors, as well as students of film two of whom won prizes for Best Short Documentary and Best Experimental Film.

Among the highly-regarded directors and well-respected film industry professionals coming to the Festival were:  Mike Leigh, to whom the Festival paid tribute; famed theatre director, Josie Rourke, who directed her first feature, Mary Queen of Scots; legendary actor/writer/director, Steven Berkoff; highly-acclaimed Polish director, Jan Komasa, director of Corpus Christi which received rave reviews in Venice and Toronto and put forward for an Oscar in 2020; and Carl Hunter, with his first film, Sometimes Always Never, starring Bill Nighy which previewed at the Festival. Among the film industry professionals who took Master Classes, was leading cinematographer, Piotr Sobocinski Jr, who came to Cheltenham from Poland.