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New class of local movie makers
By Jan Gilbert, contributor

Creation
Jon Amiel's film Creation tells the story of the life of Charles Darwin

Cambridge has hit somewhat of a purple patch when it comes to filmmakers.

Leading the pack is former Sidney Sussex College student Jon Amiel whose Charles Darwin biopic, Creation, hit cinemas earlier this year.

While some have moved to the silver screen after studying in the city others are born and bred locals.

The range of releases include the stories of a screenwriter with a severe lack of inspiration and a 1970s female punk group. Jan Gilbert finds out more.

Jon Amiel - Creation

This year Cambridge is celebrating the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth and the 150th year since the publication of his most famous work, The Origin of Species.

Director Jon Amiel's appearance at the Cambridge Film Festival to preview his Charles Darwin biopic, Creation, couldn't have been timelier.

Jon chats to me about his student days at Sidney Sussex College, running the Oxford and Cambridge Shakespeare Company, and how he came to direct Creation.

Lucy Akhurst & Chaz Oldham - Morris: A Life with Bells On

Three years ago, Cambridge graduate Chaz Oldham sat down in the University's law library to write his first feature film.

Since then, Morris: A Life with Bells On has become something of a phenomenon.

Director Lucy Akhurst and writer-actor Oldham tell me about big-name actors, Cambridge academics, and the power of Morris.

And if you missed Morris at the Cambridge Film Festival, make sure you catch it at the Ely Cinema on 13 October.

Gareth Jones - Desire

I met up with writer-director Gareth Jones at the Arts Picturehouse, just before the UK premiere of his debut feature, Desire, about a screenwriter suffering from writer's block.

Gareth talks about his memories of St John's College, returning to Cambridge for a PhD on film, and acting at the ADC.

Gina Birch - The Raincoats: Fairytales

Punk music may not be the first thing you associate with Cambridge, but Gina Birch, founder member of 70s female punk group The Raincoats, was born and bred here.

And she was back recently to talk about her documentary film The Raincoats: Fairytales at the Cambridge Film Festival.

Composer Julio d'Escriván

Originally from Venezuela, composer Julio d'Escriván moved to Cambridge six years ago to teach digital music composition at Anglia Ruskin University.

After his masterclass on music and film at the Cambridge Film Festival, Julio tells me about his big composing break on a BAFTA-winning animation, and how teaching at Anglia feeds into his work as a freelance composer.

Jan Gilbert is a journalist and broadcaster. You can hear her weekly movie reviews every Tuesday on Antonia Brickell's Drive show on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. For more details see the link on the right.




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