Chester Performs is just 24 hours away from launching the first event of Screen Deva, the city’s film and digital media festival taking place May 28-June 6.

The annual festival, this year taking place over 10 days, has an unmissable line up of 24 feature length films, a programme of artists’ exhibitions, an extensive range of free half term boredom busters, the best short films from UK and international film festivals and a showcase of films created by filmmakers based in the region.

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

“The new festival hub at St Mary’s Centre should be seen as a ‘drop in’ activity centre for people during the Whit half term holiday.”

Film programme highlights include John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy, An Education, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Oscar winning foreign films Departures, The Cove, Treeless Mountain and 35 Shots of Rum. Plus a secret location film screening of Where the Wild Things Are.

Families can enjoy Coraline, A Town Called Panic and rare screenings of silent films Red Balloon and The Adventures of Prince Ahmed, created in 1942 using shadow puppets.

There’s also a programme of free workshops and an afternoon of family-friendly short films.

For this year’s Screen Deva, St Mary’s Centre will be the festival hub screening films everyday, hosting free exhibitions of artists’ projects and digital media activities and workshops for people aged four+.

Critically acclaimed Cheshire- based artist Patricia MacKinnon Day’s exhibition Private Views Made Public shares some of the county’s most beautiful panoramic views, projected onto six high definition screens.

There will also be a free sound walk, where visitors can hire MP3 players to explore the area around St Mary’s Hill. Plus films created in partnership with young people from Chester.

Chester’s architectural heritage will also be celebrated during the festival, with the city’s 700-year-old Water Tower hosting Their Former State and Stature.

Brothers Rob and Matt Vale’s installation involves projections of ferocious waves splashing up the tower and the sound of water in the tower’s mysterious interior.

Nights of foreign film and food will be enjoyed at French Restaurant Chez Jules, screening L’auberge de Jeunesse over a French buffet and authentic Italian deli Olio & Farina screening Italian classic Bicycle Thieves during a Tuscan meal.

And former gentlemen’s club Oddfellows will screen the Marilyn Monroe classic Gentlemen Prefer Blondes during a VIP night of film, fizz, candy floss and popcorn.

Telford’s Warehouse will host Best of the Fests, an evening programme of the best short films from UK and international film festivals, and the Chester Film Society will chair Film Quiz, a quiz across all genres of film.

After an overwhelming response to the call out for submissions for films made by local filmmakers, Screen Deva will showcase Young Deva and Telford’s Warehouse will host Northwest Film and Acoustic Night, an evening of film screenings, live music and open mic activities.

A Film of the Book Night is planned for the literary phenomenon The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, with a senior lecturer from the University of Chester chairing a discussion on the film, which is based on the best-selling novel by Swede Stieg Larson.

Tickets from £3 are on sale now, call 0843 208 0500. Alternatively, log on to or call into Chester Tourist Information Centre. What’s showing where during Screen Deva can be found on page 47 or by visiting