Charlton and Woolwich Film Festival: Monty Python’s Life of Brian leads 2019 line-up

Life of Brian is showing in the garden of the White Swan

Monty Python’s Life of Brian is among the movies coming to SE7 next month as part of the fourth Charlton and Woolwich Free Film Festival.

The cult comedy – banned for blasphemy in several UK towns when it was released 40 years ago – is one of three films to be shown at The White Swan in Charlton Village.

Organisers are screening films at a host of venues across Charlton, Woolwich and Shooters Hill between Friday 6th and Saturday 14th September.

Life of Brian, presented by south London slackers’ site Deserter.co.uk, will be screened in the garden at the Swan on Sunday 8th September. The following night sees the Japanese horror comedy One Cut of the Dead at the Swan, while the same pub plays host to war documentary They Shall Not Grow Old on Wednesday 11 September.

There’ll be a family screening of The Greatest Showman on Saturday 7 September at Charlton Manor School, along with a dog-friendly screening of the comedy drama Dean Spanley in the grounds of Charlton House on Friday 13th.

Charlton House is also playing host to Shooting Dogs, which explores the genocide in Rwanda, on Thursday 12 September. It will be preceded by a documentary, Faces of Genocide.

Hollywood classic The Night of the Hunter, starring Robert Mitchum, can be seen at St Thomas’ Church on Woodland Terrace on Monday 9 September, while Mars Attacks! is at the Starbucks on Woolwich Road on Thursday 12th.

The festival opens with two screenings at once on Friday 6th – Cinema Paradiso at Shrewsbury House, Shooters Hill and Black Panther, at Artillery Square in Woolwich’s Royal Arsenal.

Artillery Square also plays host to the festival’s final screening on Saturday 14th – First Man, the story of Neil Armstrong and the first manned mission to the Moon 50 years ago.

Other highlights include the classic war movie Bridge on the River Kwai, screening at St George’s Garrison Church on Woolwich Common on Sunday 8th, and a Friday 13th screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo! at Severndroog Castle.

The festival is one of a number across south London and is run by volunteers and donations, with support this year coming from Greenwich Council. To find out more about what’s on show, visit freefilmfestivals.org.

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Charlton and Woolwich Free Film Festival is back for 2019 – here’s how to get involved

Alfred Hitchcock
Organisers are hoping this year’s festival goes without a Hitch (photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The Charlton and Woolwich Free Film Festival is returning for eight days this September – and it’s looking for movie fans to get involved with the running of the event.

The Charlton Champion can exclusively reveal the dates for this year’s festival – Friday 6 to Saturday 14 September. If you’re new to the idea, the format is simple – free films screened at locations anywhere in the SE7 or SE18 postcodes.

If you’re looking to put a film on – maybe you have an idea, or you have a venue – then your ideas are welcome, but the team is also looking for people who are also happy to learn projectionists’ skills, rattle buckets, fundraise, or deliver leaflets to help the cause.

One of the most successful events of last year’s festival was a screening of Young Frankenstein at Severndroog Castle – organisers are considering putting on a Hitchcock film there this year. Past events have seen Withnail and I and This Is Spinal Tap put on by Deserter.co.uk at The White Swan, and Battle of Britain at St George’s Garrison Church in Woolwich. There are plenty of other ideas – and you may have your own.

To get involved, sign up to the event’s mailing list or attend its open meeting at Charlton House on Wednesday 27 February at 7.30pm (with drinks at the White Swan after), where organisers hope to start nailing down some of the ideas and preparing a timetable.


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Charlton and Woolwich Free Film Festival 2018: What’s on this year?

Journey's End (photo: Lionsgate Films)
Saul Dibb’s war drama Journey’s End will screen at Charlton House

This year’s Charlton and Woolwich Free Film Festival has revealed its line-up, with World War I drama Journey’s End leading the selection of movies being screened at Charlton House.

2018’s event, to be held between 7 and 15 September, sees a range of films being shown at venues across Charlton, Woolwich, Plumstead and Shooters Hill. There’s no charge – just turn up, and throw some coins in the bucket if you can help with the costs of putting it on.

Director Saul Dibb’s adaptation of RC Sherriff play Journey’s End will be on at Charlton House on Tuesday 11 September (7.30pm, doors 6.30pm). Written by a captain wounded at Passchendaele, it depicts a handful of British soldiers “waiting to be killed” in a trench near the end of World War I. Charlton House was used as a military hospital towards the end of the Great War, and historian Clive Harris will give a talk at 7pm about about the real-life events that inspired the production.

Charlton House also plays host to the festival’s third short film competition on Thursday 13 September (7.30pm, doors 7pm), which this year has the theme Diversity and Future. There’s a £500 prize waiting for the winner.

On Friday 14 September (7pm, doors 6.30pm) comedy The Dish rounds off Charlton House’s contribution to the festival. Set in 1969, Sam Neill plays an Australian sheep farmer who has to steer the satellite dish – and its eccentric crew – to bring the Apollo 11 moon landings to the world’s TV screens.

Woolwich’s big screen in General Gordon Square will open the festival on Friday 7 September with The Greatest Showman. and close it with Sister Act on Saturday 15 September (Update 5 September: Sister Act has been cancelled).

Severndroog Castle on Shooters Hill plays host to Young Frankenstein on Friday 14 September, while nearby Shrewsbury House Community Centre screens both Yellow Submarine and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Other highlights include Silver Linings Playbook at Stir Cafe in Anglesea Road, Woolwich and Do The Right Thing at ArtFix cafe, also in Woolwich.

For more on what’s on – and how to get involved – visit the Charlton and Woolwich Free Film Festival website.

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