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A huge thank you to everyone who attended and participated in this year’s festival. Our 21st edition saw our highest number of sell-outs in years! With 50 screenings and events it felt like one of our best ever festivals.

We opened CINECITY with the highly-anticipated, Venice Film Festival Golden Lion winning Poor Things and continued to bring festival winners to Brighton and Lewes with a preview screening of Evil Does Not Exist (best film award in official competition at the BFI London Film Festival) and closed with All of Us Strangers, a beautiful film that has since taken home the top prize at British Independent Film Awards for best film as well as best director, best screenplay as well as four craft prizes. 

As part of our Jeff Keen GAZENTENARY celebrations, we were delighted to screen Mad Love (1972-1978) at Fabrica on 16mm. If you haven’t already, make sure you visit the Jeff Keen: 100 years of Dr Gaz exhibition at John Marchant Gallery on display until 23rd December 2023. 

Zoe Montgomery

We also celebrated the works of Powell and Pressburger with a 4K restoration of Peeping Tom as part of Cinemas of the Mind, a preview of the new 75th anniversary release of The Red Shoes and a multi-sensory screening of Black Narcissus at the suitably atmospheric Fabrica. 

 As always we enjoyed our adventures in world cinema, this year getting to go on special trips to Georgia with Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry, Argentina for The Delinquents and Trenque Lauquen, Malaysia for Tiger Stripes and venturing to Australia with Shayda before returning closer to home with Wilding (exploring the impact of the radical conservation project at Knepp estate, West Sussex).

 We’re always delighted to host post-screening Q&As as part of the festival and to be able to welcome directors to Brighton and Lewes to discuss their films. Among many visiting film-makers this year, Where is Heaven co-directors Gerard Bryan and David Rafique joined us at Lewes Depot for a memorable screening of the documentary that would go on to win this year’s audience award.

Tim Barclay

Our regular short film programmes from open submissions were also a delight, with Self-Portrait in Blue Overalls directed by Harvey Cohen being announced as our 2023 New Voices Winner.

Self-Portrait in Blue Overalls – Harvey Cohen

Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts continued to champion live cinema this year, a highlight being a very special screening of Dorothy Towers with live score and Q&A; and the Kyiv city symphony In Spring presented with a live score from Roksana Smirnova and Misha Kalinin.

Tim Barclay

We would like to thank all our funders and sponsors, film-makers and distributors, venues and volunteers who helped us make this year so special.