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Leeds film extravaganza digs deep to tell stories of region’s industrial past


By Thomas McGlynn

LEEDS INTERNATIONAL Film Festival has returned to the city with a focus on the county’s mining heritage as well as global cinema.

The two-week event, which runs until November 17, is celebrating its 30th anniversary and will see film premieres from all over the world, including Hacksaw Ridge, Mel Gibson’s first work as a director since Apocalypto.

The festival will be showcasing a wide variety of film genres and styles, ranging from comedy and horror to animation and even silent film.

Other films at the festival include eagerly anticipated Korean horror Train to Busan and Adam Driver’s latest acting role in American drama Paterson.

Joey Palmer, 20, who currently studies Filmmaking at Leeds Beckett University has made large contributions to a film at this year’s LIFF.

He said: “The film I worked on was part of the Mining the Memories project – the film was called Coke not Coal.

“I worked for three days on set and off, doing jobs from helping guide the horses into position, telling actors when to enter the set, helping to block the streets and even catering.”

The film explores the lives of workers in a mining town as they reflect upon their careers.

A Piece of Coal is another film involved in the Mining the Memories project that will be shown at the festival, directed by third year film graduates, and touches on a similar topic.

“Leeds International Film Festival is pretty well renowned for having a variety of interesting and exciting films shown, and it brings the whole community together alongside it,” added Mr Palmer.

Alex King, 45, one of the festival’s head programmers, said: “We’ve selected so many films this year and there are just so many things I’m looking forward to, in particular the silent films, such as Napoleon, a newer one, that we have booked.

“I’m also really looking forward to the comedy night, where we’ll be showing a mixture of comedies as well as several Laurel and Hardy shorts, with the new digital projection facilities we’re using this year.”

Nick Jones, a manager at LIFF, said: “I’m very excited for the soundtracks at this year’s festival.

“We’ve installed a new sound system inside Leeds Town Hall that we haven’t been using in previous years, so that should be excellent.”

Numerous venues across the Leeds area are set to hold this year’s festival, including the Brudenell Social Club, Ilkley Cinema and Leeds College of Art.

For full listings for LIFF 2016, visit .

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