Kirkstall Abbey’s Gothic Film Festival set against the spectacular backdrop of the 12th century ruined Cistercian monastery in Leeds offers audiences a unique and terrifying Halloween trick or treat experience in this stunning, historic location. A key component of the BFI’s blockbuster Gothic project, bringing the dark heart of film to life on the big screen, the 4-day Gothic Film Festival runs 31st October – 3rd November and is presented by the Cambridge Film Trust and Broadway Nottingham, in association with the National Media Museum Bradford and Showroom Sheffield with support from BFI Film Forever.
The Halloween Opening Night presentation of Murnau’s classic horror, NOSFERATU will see Count Orlock being brought back from the undead with live accompaniment by musicians, Gunter Buchwald, Jeff Davenport and composer/presenter of BBC4’s recent Sound of Cinema series, Neil Brand. Projected within the walls of Kirkstall Abbey itself, providing sensational acoustics for the music as well as the interplay of light and dark shadows, the specially designed auditorium will seat 400 people.
The bloodcurdling programme will also see screenings of classic Gothic titles; NIGHT OF THE DEMON (Jacques Tourneur), WITCHFINDER GENERAL (Michael Reeves), THE DEVIL RIDES OUT (Terence Fisher), BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (James Whale), PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC (Carl Theodor Dreyer) with live piano accompaniment by Stephen Horne and THE INNOCENTS (Jack Clayton).
A special Junior Gothic event on Saturday 2nd November with screenings for under 16s including NOSFERATU with live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney. The event will also include prizes for best dressed and most scary Goth. The Festival will cater for the full Gothic experience with storytellers and performers in character, Gothic film extracts and trailers in the Abbey’s Chapterhouse and hot food and drink stalls, with added horror atmospherics of fog machines, dramatic lighting and spooky soundscape to create the perfect Gothic film setting.
BFI Gothic celebrates the very British genius – rooted in literature and art – that gave rise to some of the most filmed characters in our on-screen history: Dracula, Frankenstein and Jekyll & Hyde. Gothic introduced the nation to sex, unleashing dark passions and breaking taboos along the way, circumventing what was acceptable to view on screen and then selling it to America – who imported the genre with true bloodlust.
Gothic Film Festival tickets are on sale now at the Carriageworks 0113 224 3801 and 31st October – 3rd November Kirkstall Abbey, door sales only.