By Alan Davies
Sunday, February 17, 2013
FILMS made at Welwyn Studios will feature in a new season of movies being screened in Hatfield.
UHArts celebrates the significant contribution Hertfordshire’s film studios have made to cinema in a series of events at the University of Hertfordshire over the coming months.
Hosted by The Elstree Project – a film heritage initiative created by the Hatfield-based university and Elstree Screen Heritage – the Elstree Film Season returns for a second season next month, and features films and television programmes made at the studios.
Each screening will be introduced by Elstree Screen Heritage chairman Paul Welsh and will include exclusive highlights of interviews with the people who helped make them.
In 2012, the likes of David Bowie film Labyrinth, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, starring Bob Hoskins, and The Shining attracted large audiences, including members of the production teams behind the films.
The screening of Who Framed Roger Rabbit even saw a reunion of the film’s crew, including BAFTA-Award winners Kevin Davies and Barry Wilkinson.
Village of the Damned (1960) kicks off the new season on Thursday, March 14.
This British sci-fi classic is the eerie tale of the blonde haired glowing-eyed children of the small English village Midwich.
Two further screenings follow. On March 28, The Devil Rides Out (1968) – the Hammer Horror classic starring Christopher Lee – will be shown in The Weston Auditorium, in Hatfield.
And April 18 will see a cult 60s television double bill of The Avengers and The Prisoner.
In April, UHArts will focus their attention on the sometimes forgotten Welwyn Studios.
Originally opened in 1928 as British Instructional Films, the studio ran in Welwyn Garden City until the late 1950s.
During this time it produced a number of important British features starring such luminaries as Bela Lugosi, James Mason, Alec Guinness and Margaret Rutherford, as well as a range of educational films, such as the acclaimed Secrets of Nature series.
The first screening in the Welwyn Studios season on April 2 is Brighton Rock (1947).
One of the most widely known and celebrated British films, it stars Richard Attenborough as Pinkie Brown.
This will be followed by a Hitchcock double-bill on April 9, featuring the rarely-screened World War Two French language propaganda short films Bon Voyage (1944) and Aventure Malgache (1944).
The screenings will take place at the university’s impressive Weston Auditorium on the de Havilland Campus.
Tickets are £4 each, and can be purchased from the UHArts Box Office on 01707 281127 or online at www.herts.ac.uk/artsandgalleries