Celebrating 10 years of cinema

The Film Place Committee at the 10th anniversary celebration
The Film Place Committee at the 10th anniversary celebration

Buckingham’s glitterati donned black ties and frocks to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the town’s independent community cinema.

In the words of Sir Ian McKellen, who sent a personal message on the occasion, “TheFilmPlace is obviously the place to be.”

Supporters at the black tie Gala Night

Supporters at the black tie Gala Night

To mark its 10 years in Buckingham, The Film Place hosted a film festival over five days, culminating in the black tie Gala Night on Sunday.

The festival also celebrated the prominent role Bucks has played in the history of film, with its famed Pinewood and Denham Studios, and numerous locations that have featured in film­making.

Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps opened the festival, with an introduction by well-known film critic and writer, Charles Barr, who was born at 22 Chandos Road and saw his first film at The Chandos cinema.

Far From the Madding Crowd was the next screening. Before the film, Rachel Flynn from Claydon spoke about the two weeks of hectic film making at Claydon House, where many of the scenes were shot.

This was followed by a sing-along Bugsy Malone, then Sunday’s Gala Night audience watched a screening of Mr Holmes, to which the committee had invited leading actor, Sir Ian McKellen.

Sir Ian replied that he was unable to attend, as he was co-hosting the Evening Standard Theatre Awards, but sent a message of support.

As part of the celebration, The FilmPlace held a short film competition, to encourage young film-makers to showcase their work on the big screen.

Entries were judged by local director Justin Chadwick, British Film Institute’s course director at Pinewood Dominique Unsworth, the University of Buckingham’s head of media Roger Perkins and David Pickering of The Film Place.

The three winning films were shown to the Gala Night audience, after they had been welcomed by the University of Buckingham’s new vice-chancellor, Sir Anthony Seldon.