2023 Programme

Saturday 11 February 2023

Blackpool on Film: Mars (2022)

Charlie Acaster is a sixteen-year-old trans girl living in Blackpool. On paper, she knows that differences are to be embraced, but in reality she only wants to fit in. While her best friend Maisie heads off to a house party, Charlie must attend a support group instead, and talk about her feelings with a bunch of other kids.

Over the course of one extraordinary night, Charlie will take a significant step forward in embracing who she truly is.


Fashion Reimagined

Fashion Reimagined follows fashion designer Amy Powney of cult label Mother of Pearl, who embarks on a three-year journey to create a sustainable clothing collection from field to finished garment, and transform the way we engage with fashion. Raised off-the-grid in rural England by activist parents, Amy has always felt uneasy about the devastating environmental impact of her industry. When she wins the coveted Vogue award for the Best Young Designer of the Year, Amy decides to use the prize money to create a sustainable collection and transform her entire business..


Cowboy Bebop

As part of Saturday’s PROGRESS programme, we’re thrilled to present Anime fan favourite Cowboy Bebop.

We’re taking a trip to Mars 2071 to follow the futuristic adventures of easy-going bounty hunter Spike Spiegel and his partners aboard the spaceship Bebop...


Mr. Blackpool

Harry Clayton-Wright gives the Blackpool Film Festival an exclusive first look at Mr Blackpool, a brand new production from Harry Clayton-Wright and Marlborough Productions.

An end of the pier show at the end of the world, providing a last breath of entertainment while the world around us burns, Mr Blackpool - described as a “post-apocalyptic Liberace” - will take the form of an all singing, all dancing, visually arresting, summer season seaside special.


Neptune Frost

As part of Saturday’s PROGRESS programme, we’re thrilled to bring you afrofuturist fantasia Neptune Frost. A wondrous, thrilling sci-fi punk musical from multidisciplinary artists Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman.

It is a sci-fi-punk musical that’s a visually wondrous amalgamation of themes, ideas, and songs that they have been exploring in their work, including on Williams’ 2016 album MartyrLoserKing.


Best of Iris

The 16th Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival brought a huge variety of LGBT+ short films to their in-person and online festival. This diverse selection of outstanding short films showcases unique stories from around the world with a strong British representation.



We’re pleased to bring you a special screening of Fritz Lang’s pioneering sci-fi classic Metropolis, accompanied by a live score performed by David Ivory on the Mighty Opera House Wurlitzer.

This is your chance to see one of the most influential films of the 20th century screened as the director originally intended and as seen by German cinema-goers in 1927.


Sunday 12 February 2023

Sing-a-long Moana

You’re invited to warm up your vocal chords at the Opera House for a sing-a-long screening of Moana with on screen lyrics.

For one morning only on Saturday 12 February, come and sing all your favourite songs from the Moana soundtrack whilst watching the stunning film on our big screen.


A Very Vintage Valentine

Join our fabulous film festival team for a day of vintage music, film, entertainment, heritage talks, fashion and dance.
- Aaron Whiteside & Hattie Bee: Singing the greatest hits of yesteryear.
- Vintage stalls selling fabulous clothing, accessories, artworks and art deco posters.
- Step in front of the green screen and star in your own classic film with BA Filmmaking students from Blackpool School of Arts.
- The dance floor is open! Time to ‘shake a leg’ vintage style. We’re spinning the best vintage sounds throughout the day, so don’t forget your dancing shoes!
Tickets: Free
All ages are warmly welcomed.

POSTPONED: 9 1⁄2 - 9.5mm amateur archive films from around the globe

In 1922, thanks to the Pathé company, 9.5mm film was born in France. It was the first film format designed for home-made cinema. The movies therefore began to come out of the theatrical space and enter directly into the homes of spectators, transforming them into operators, directors and experimenters. From Japan to New Zealand, from Brazil to Chile, from Congo to Canada, the amateur camera became the medium to capture family moments, scenic travel episodes and the nuances of everyday life over time..


CANCELLED: Brief Encounter

Adapted from a play by Noel Coward, this brilliantly crafted masterpiece remains one of the greatest romantic tearjerkers of all time.

After a chance meeting on a train platform, a married doctor (Trevor Howard) and a suburban housewife (Celia Johnson) begin a muted but passionate, and ultimately doomed, love affair.


Heritage Talk: Fun and Fortunes - The Story of Blackpool's fortune telling robot

Do you remember Charlie the Magnetic Man?

Join Showtown as we tell the story of one of Blackpool’s best loved sideshows, the Great Magna. Discover the letters, predictions and the man who turned Charlie into a touring sensation that wowed families across the UK.


CANCELLED: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Get ready for toe-tapping tunes, glamourous looks and a healthy dose of camp in our Very Vintage Valentine afternoon screening of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell play glamorous showgirls who appear to have everything a girl could want - except engagement rings.


Capturing Local History on Film: Granny/ Flyte of Fancy + Q&A

We're pleased to share with you two short films inspired by our Lancashire heritage. Join us after the screening for a Q&A with director Gillian Wood and writer Michelle Crane to find out how they use film to explore and celebrate local history.


CANCELLED: Piccadilly

For our final film of Sunday's A Very Vintage Valentine programme, we’re pleased to bring you Piccadilly, a classic British silent film rarely seen in cinemas.

The Chinese-American screen goddess Anna May Wong stars as Shosho, a scullery maid in a fashionable London nightclub whose sensuous tabletop dance catches the eye of suave club owner Valentine Wilmot. She rises to become the toast of the London club scene and the object of his obsession, making his former lover and star dancer Mabel bitterly jealous.