CHESTER Performs will stage the biggest film festival ever seen in the city next week with venues ranging from an Italian restaurant to the Grosvenor Park.

The organisation has secured fantastic venues for the 23 screenings which form part of Screen Deva including a disused church, a former warehouse, Grosvenor Park, an Italian deli and an exclusive bar.

Screen Deva will take place between May 9 – 16, after the success of last year’s sell-out programme but which was held on a much smaller scale.

The lack of a city centre cinema means organisers are turning to the city’s historic back drop for the festival’s settings.

The disused 15th century Norwegian Church, St Olave’s – an example of Chester’s Scandinavian architectural influences – will host European films.

Grosvenor Park will house an impressive 16ft by 9ft screen, set to show classic movies such as ET - The Extra-Terrestrial and Vertigo during the weekend of the festival.

And Oddfellows, the refurbished 17th century former gentleman’s club, will host an exclusive VIP film night in the luxury of the private members’ room.

Screen Deva Family Day, in three marquees pitched in Grosvenor Park, will include projects such as Portable Pixel Playground, described as a mixture between an adventure playground, a work of art and a computer game.

Blue Screen workshops will enable families to create their own movie special effects. Cheshire Dance will offer workshops using new media technology.

Family-friendly films will be screened throughout the day.

Telford’s Warehouse will host Best of the Fests, an evening of the best short films from UK and international film festivals and Film Quiz Spectacular.

A Film of the Book Night is planned in the disused St Olave’s church, with a Chester university lecturer chairing a discussion on Girl, Interrupted.

Italian deli Olio & Farina will show Il Postino and La Vita è Bella. Oddfellows will screen Some Like it Hot during a VIP film night, with fizz, candy floss, popcorn and ice cream sellers.

Grosvenor Museum will host Baby Deva – for parents with children under one year old – featuring New York rom-com Manhattan and silver screen classic Brief Encounter is programmed free for OAPs.

Young Deva will showcase the work of aspiring regional film-makers.

And budding movie-makers who took part in a three-day filmmaking course during the Easter holidays will have the results of their efforts shown on May 13.

Chester Performs offered youngsters, aged 14 -17 years, the chance to work with professionals Enormous Films.

Activities included story boarding, script-writing, acting, directing, sound and editing, as well as the production of a short film – shot on location in Chester city centre.

Programme manager Amber Knipe said: “We are really excited about this year’s Screen Deva, it’s our biggest programme to date and has something for everyone.

“We wanted to make sure that during the week- long festival anyone can come into the city to see and take part in the festival’s events.”

There will be more than 18 feature-length films including horror, comedy, world cinema, science fiction and adventure.

Online booking can be made on, you can ring 0870 428 0785 or you can visit Chester Tourist Information Centre inm Northgate Street.

A full list of all the Screen Deva events can be found in this Thursday’s Chronicle.