Storyhouse has announced it is hosting the annual Chester International Film Festival presented by Chester Film Society between February 25 – March 6.

The festival line-up boasts a remarkable global selection of recent films that share stories and experiences from an array of countries, that will be screened in Storyhouse’s independent cinema.

All screenings will be preceded by two short films as part of the International Animation Festival – a competition to find the best in animation worldwide.

The Animation Festival started four years ago and this year has attracted 1,000 entries from around the world.

The feature films being shown are:

Loving Vincent (Poland/UK, 2017, Cert 12A) Sunday, February 25

Loving Vincent

BAFTA nominated, this beautiful work has made history – the first animated film entirely consisting of oil paintings.

A young man comes to Vincent van Gogh’s last hometown to deliver the troubled artist’s final letter and ends up investigating his last days there.

While there have been several other movies about van Gogh, this film is filled with contrasting and conflicting stories, theories and recollections, and descriptions of events from those who crossed paths with the artist on a daily basis.

Winner of the Best Animated Feature Film Award at the 2017 European Film Awards in Berlin

In Between (Israel/France, 2016, Cert 15) Monday, February 26

In Between

Three Palestinian women live in an apartment in Tel Aviv.

Two of them have more or less abandoned traditional values.

They drink, smoke, and attend raves.

The third strives to maintain traditional values, her fiancé grudgingly accepts her career, but would much rather she stay at home once they are married.

They all suffer from belonging neither to traditional Arab society nor to secular Westernised society; they are “in between”.

The film addresses sensitive topics and themes that are very much relevant anywhere.

I Am Not a Witch (UK/France, 2017, Cert 12A) Wednesday, February 28

I Am Not a Witch

In a remote Zambian village, an eight-year-old girl is accused of being a witch following an accident.

She is found guilty and sent to a’ witch camp’.

Writer-director Rungano Nyoni, born in Zambia and part-raised in Wales, was inspired by real-life reports of witchcraft accusations in Zambia.

To be introduced by Professor Claire Griffiths of the University of Chester. BAFTA nominated.

Menashe (USA, 2017, Cert U) Sunday, March 4

A soulful gaze on a world we rarely see in American film: the Hasidic community of New York City.

Using non-actors who speak entirely in Yiddish, a man battles for custody of his son following the death of his wife.

A tender drama, the film intimately explores the nature of faith and the price of parenthood.

“Menashe” makes an incredible case that the specific is universal, and that stories shouldn’t compromise perspective for a wide audience to get it.

On Body And Soul (Hungary, 2017, Cert 18) Monday, March 5

On Body and Soul

Winner of the Golden Bear at the 2017 Berlinale, this film tells the story of two outcasts who find love in a Hungarian abattoir.

They are both fastidious loners, but at night, they share the same dreams – a mystical but matter-of-fact connection that transforms both into deer in a sparkling winter woodland.

The details of animal butchery in the abattoir contrast against the delicate suspense of the dream sequences.

The Nile Hilton Incident (Sweden, 2017, Cert TBC) Wednesday, March 6

The Nile Hilton Incident

Set against the backdrop of the Egyptian Revolution, the thriller features a police officer who investigates the murder of a woman.

What initially seems to be a killing of a prostitute turns into a more complicated case involving the very elite of Egypt.

Winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

Rachel Cross of Chester Film Society said: “We are thrilled that Storyhouse is hosting this year’s festival, it is quickly becoming the centre for so many of Chester’s creative organisations.

“We have a range of films that celebrate and explore an incredible set of themes.

“This is an opportunity to watch some interesting and challenging films in a beautiful setting.”

All tickets for the films can be booked at Storyhouse in person or through the online booking system.

Subscribers to Chester Film Society can get a special discount.

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