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Shakespeare Film Festival

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Film festival celebrates Shakespeare’s global appeal


Film lovers are in for a treat as the Shakespeare Film Festival returns to Stratford-upon-Avon from 21 – 23 September with a series of outdoor screenings, film and animation workshops celebrating Shakespeare’s influence in film.


Organised by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the Shakespeare Film Festival first launched in 2013 with Sir Kenneth Branagh as its patron, inviting people to enter a short film competition which attracted entries from all over the world.


The festival has evolved over the years and in addition to the annual Shakespeare Shorts film competition, there will be, for the first time, a series of outdoor screenings of contemporary films inspired by Shakespeare in the beautiful Great Garden at Shakespeare’s New Place. Budding film makers can also take part in a number of workshops in the art of film making and animation.


This year’s programme launches on 21 September with a screening of Omkara – a Bollywood adaptation of Othello (with English subtitles), followed by the family favourite, Disney’s The Lion King which is heavily influenced by Hamlet. Visitors are invited to bring along a picnic and suitable seating.


With the theme of Crossing Borders, this year’s competition attracted 235 entries from 41 countries including the UK, New Zealand, Iran and Romania. A special outdoor screening will be held at Shakespeare’s New Place on 23 September where the works of three finalists will be shown and the winner of the coveted Shakespeare Shorts competition, judged by Sir Kenneth, will be announced.   

Elizabeth Dollimore from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said, “Shakespeare’s work has not only changed the stage forever but has massively influenced film as well. The festival aims to use the power of film to reach new audiences in the appreciation for Shakespeare, as well as a platform for film makers to present their vision in a fresh and creative way. We’re delighted that the festival has grown from strength to strength and excited to be able to present these films in the historic grounds of Shakespeare’s New Place for the very first time.”


The Shakespeare Film Festival takes place from 21 – 23 September 2017. Tickets for outdoor screenings: Adult £8, Child £5; Animation Workshop: £20, Film Making Workshop: £20. For more information and to book online see


Full programme:

Omkara – Thursday, 21 September at 7pm

Shakespeare's New Place, Chapel Street, Stratford-upon-Avon

Outdoor screening of Omkara, a popular Indian crime drama which is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello. Come and enjoy the drama and see how the 2006 world cinema hit was inspired by Shakespeare. Tickets: £8 Adults, £5 Children. Bring a picnic and seating.


The Lion King – Friday, 22 September at 7pm

Shakespeare's New Place, Chapel Street, Stratford-upon-Avon

Outdoor screening for all the family of Disney's The Lion King in the Great Garden at Shakespeare's New Place. The Lion King, an animation set in east Africa, is heavily influenced by Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Come and enjoy the show and discover five fun facts about Hamlet. Tickets: £8 Adults, £5 Children. Bring a picnic and seating.


Filming Shakespeare: Crossing Borders – Saturday, 23 September at 7pm

Shakespeare's New Place, Chapel Street, Stratford-upon-Avon

Outdoor screening of the winning entries in our short film competition Filming Shakespeare: Crossing Borders. We will show a variety of new films and animations inspired by Shakespeare and addressing the theme of crossing borders. Come along and see what Shakespeare’s works have inspired in today’s film makers. Tickets: £8 Adults, £5 Children. Bring a picnic and seating.

Animation Workshop – Saturday, 23 September 10.30am - 12.30pm

The Shakespeare Centre, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon

Join Birmingham based animation director and Yamination Studios' Drew Roper and animation talent, Tim Allen (Shaun the Sheep, Fantastic Mr Fox), as they help bring your imagination to life for this exciting two hour animation workshop.  You will get the opportunity to get up close and personal with how a stop-motion animation is made, craft your creations out of plasticine and then animate them to come to life.  Don't miss this incredibly fun, friendly and frame worthy stop-motion animation workshop themed on the astounding works of Shakespeare. Tickets: £20


Film Making Workshop – Saturday, 23 September 2.00- 4.30pm

The Shakespeare Centre, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon

Join experts from Herbert Media to learn some of the basics of film making. A hands on, practical introduction to the tips and tricks of shooting a short movie. From camera staging and blocking, to an actor’s inner motivation; while still hitting their marks. Participants will be given a concise overview of the low budget film making process, which will include the dreaded networking, or if you prefer; a chat with like-minded collaborators. We can’t make you a world class director or an outstanding actor, but we can help with your first steps. We all start at the beginning and take one step at a time. Tickets: £20.

Earlier Event: September 15