Charlton and Woolwich Free Film Festival reveals its 2021 line-up

Dunkirk opens this year’s festival

Covid-19 put paid to last year’s event – but the Charlton and Woolwich Film Festival is making its long-awaited comeback next month. PAUL CHAPMAN reveals this year’s line-up exclusively for The Charlton Champion.

After a Covid-enforced absence in 2020, the Charlton and Woolwich Free Film Festival is pleased to confirm that we’ll be returning in 2021!

Our official opening is Friday 3rd September, when Dunkirk will be screening at St George’s Garrison Church on Woolwich Common. Master of ceremonies will be festival stalwart Steve Hunnisett, joined by fellow historian Clive Harris, who will give a short talk preceding the film.

I say “official” opening as the crew at Shrewsbury House, Shooters Hill have snuck in a double-bill on the same day! Youngsters can enjoy 1994 kids’ classic A Bugs Life from 4pm while bigger kids can re-live their own childhoods watching Liz Taylor in National Velvet (doors from 6.30pm).

Saturday 4th sees the festival staying in SE18 with a return to the big screen at General Gordon Square. Untouched by the memories of playing Rocky Horror Picture Show but with no sound to an audience of 100+ on our opening night back in 2016 (and let’s not talk about Sister Act), outdoor cinema aficionado Jo Brodie will be realising her long-held dream of screening the utterly brilliant Paddington 2 at 5pm.

As you can imagine, Covid still casts a shadow over the festival and there remain a few gaps in the schedule as we look to confirm various other events.

But definitely happening on Wednesday 8th at St Lukes’ Church, Charlton Village is Half of a Yellow Sun, the 2013 drama based on the award-winning novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandiwe Newton.

St Lukes’ is a new venue for the festival, and we welcome another new venue on Thursday 9th when Silent Running, a 1972 sci-fi epic with an environmental theme, will be screening at the Maryon Park Community Garden.

As well as a range of films, we at the Festival are always keen to showcase documentaries and this year we’re pleased to confirm two so far, with Crip Camp and Running for Good both showing at Charlton House on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th respectively.

Crip Camp is a 2020 documentary looking back at the fight for disability civil rights in the time of Woodstock, and the event will also stream online. Running for Good will be screened in the gardens of Charlton House and follows extreme marathon runner Fiona Oakes as she attempts to compete in “the toughest foot race on earth” the Marathon Des Sables (a mere 250km though the Sahara desert).

If you’ve never attended the festival before, all our events are absolutely free and availability is on a first-come-first-served basis. Many venues have refreshments which can be purchased, although at open venues you are welcome to bring your own.

The festival is one of a number across south London and is run by volunteers and donations.

And finally, as mentioned, we’ll be confirming further events right up until the last minute, and this year, more than ever, ALL events are subject to change, so please do keep a very close eye on our social media channels (and share them with your friends). You can find us on Facebook and Twitter.


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