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Hollywood's A-list kick off film fest Nov 5 2005



Claire Hill, Western Mail

FOR 10 days, Wales will host five world premieres, seven European premieres, 10 UK premieres, 29 Welsh premieres and play host to actors, directors, writers and serious film fans.

Gala openings, celebrity screenings and behind-the-scenes talks will also be held as part of Cardiff Screen Festival which begins on Wednesday.

The festival is the ultimate experience for anyone who loves sitting in darkened cinemas and being transported to a different world.

After the gritty and award-winning A Way of Life opened the film festival last year, 2005 is the turn for the A-list stars.

Starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Jake Gyllenhaal and Welsh actor Antony Hopkins, Proof will have its gala opening on Wednesday night at Cineworld.

The film kick starts the Hollywood element of the festival, and is followed up by the screening of Robert Redford, Morgan Freeman and Jennifer Lopez's new film An Unfinished Life plus Pierce Brosnan shaking off Bond in comedy The Matador.

But it's not all A-list glamour as the 76 films and events cover everything from American indie, gay and lesbian and new international cinema.

Fans of the current Welsh crop of actors will be pleased to see world premieres from the likes of Michael Sheen, Jason Hughes and Nia Roberts. Roberts stars alongside Rachel Isaac and Rhodri Miles in 9 Steps to a New Start, the tale of Gareth waking up to another dull day at the office and life with his flatmates before being spurred to see the daughter he hasn't seen for six months.

Siblings and secrets is the key to Dead Long Enough starring Michael Sheen and Jason Hughes. When two Welsh brothers return to a small village in Donegal where they once spent a working holiday it is time for one to unburden himself and the other to have a second chance at love.

At the other end of the spectrum psychological thriller The Dark starring Richard Elfyn and Sean Bean comes from the director of horror Ginger Snaps.

Set in Wales a couple mourning the loss of their daughter are startled by the appearance of a girl called Ebrill, who claims to have died 60 years ago.

For music lovers Y Lleill (The Others) follows the lives of a group of aimless musicians as they play two concerts, in the film from Ankst. But if you want your music slightly cooler check out Screaming Masterpiece (Gargandi Snilld) which traces Iceland's musical history from Bjork to Mum to Sigur Ros.


The festival will yet again be home for the DM Davies Award for short filmmakers based in, or connected to, Wales. The coveted award has in the past been won by Justin Kerrigan and Sara Sugarman and this year has a record 69 entries which will be available for viewing on the festival website.

But if you don't fancy watching something new, head for the familiar with some classic films which will be shown specially for the festival.

As part of the celebrations for Cardiff's centenary, residents and celebrities like Charlotte Church were asked to pick their top ten films. Five of the final ten, including Moulin Rouge, Citizen Kane, Casablanca and The Shawshank Redemption will be shown over the festival period.

The festival runs from November 9 to 19. For more information go to www.cardiffscreenfestival.co.uk

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