The Launch Of Newcastle International Film Festival

From right Ammar Mirza, Craig Conway, Apple, Jacqui Miller Charlton, Geoff Wonfor Image Credit: Newcastle International Film Festival

Over the Easter period this year, Newcastle will host it’s first ever International Film Festival. I was invited along to the press launch of the event and I can’t begin to tell you that, as both a film lover and someone who loves to champion the region, how much of a treat we’re in for!


What Is The Event? 

Like any of the many film festivals dotted around the globe, Newcastle International Film Festival will celebrate the creative film industry. The four-day event will take place across venues throughout the city including the Tyneside Cinema, The Biscuit Factory, Cineworld and the city’s civic centre.

The festival will showcase a variety of films from Hollywood to Bollywood and sci-fi to horror. Local talent will also be celebrated, as well as films that coincide with the 100th anniversary of women being allowed to vote.

Image Credit:

When Is It?

The event will run over Easter weekend starting with a pre-launch ‘Ladies Who Mean Business’ lunch on Wednesday 28th March. The official opening ceremony will take place on Thursday 29th March with the closing awards ceremony taking place on Monday 1st April.

What Will Be Shown?

Whilst the full schedule of film screenings and events is yet to be published here’s a taster…

  • The opening night screening will be of Get Carter. The film, directed by Mike Hodges, was filmed in the city and starred Michael Caine. Having since become a cult classic, the festival will be showing one of the only remaining 35mm copies.
  • The film festival has had over 2000 submissions which have since been narrowed down. The festival organisers have chose a diverse programme with films from a variety of genres. This includes independents, award-winners, world premieres and shorts. The final programme will be released soon. Keep your eyes peeled here.
  • TV series, Our Friends of the North, will have a marathon screening.
  • Transgender film, This is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous, by Oscar-winning, documentary filmmaker Barbara Kopple will also be screened.
  • Films will be showcased  throughout venues from 10am till 10pm on March 30th and 31st and from 10am till 3pm on April 1st.

Who Is Involved?

The board members of the festival include…

  • The festival president Jacqui Miller-Charlton MBE. 
  • The festival director Garen Daly. 
  • Businessman and entrepreneur Ammar Mirza CBE.
  • International actor Caroline Goodall.
  • Actor, producer, writer and director Craig Conway. 

You can read more about the board here. 

The patron of the festival, HRH Prince Michael of Kent, has provided the event with the royal seal of approval…

Who Will Attend? 




Special guests will include the North East-born, award-winning screenwriter, Peter Flannery, director Neil Marshall and actor, Richard Armitage.  The director of Get Carter, Mike Hodges, will also appear (mentioned above). As the event gets closer more guests will be announced. Expect to see a few recognisable North East faces!


To Finish

  • If you or anyone you know has a film they’d like to submit, the submission form for local Geordie talent has been extended to February 9th. You can email for information and a special discount to submit.
  • The launch event was held at The Merhcant’s Tavern at Newcastle’s St Peter’s Wharf. I’ve never even been this far along the Tyne outside of Newcastle before but it really is a beautiful location. Check out their site! I only had a coffee (a lovely one, I may add) but would definitely like to check out the food another time.




For more about what’s going on in the region check out out What’s On Up North section.

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