Showing support for Ukraine

Round & About

film

Reading Biscuit Factory independent cinema is one of several across the country previewing Olga in aid of the DEC

Reading Biscuit Factory is joining the show of support for Ukraine with a series of preview charity screenings of Olga. 

Fifteen-year-old Ukrainian gymnast Olga, exiled in Switzerland, is trying to fit in with her new team in her new home. But as she prepares for the European Championship, the Ukrainian people stage a revolution. 

Olga is left a powerless, distant bystander as her mother, an investigative journalist, faces danger as she challenges a brutal regime. 

Can Olga reconcile her personal goals with the history unfolding in her homeland? 

A donation will be made from each ticket sold to support Ukraine via the Disasters Emergency Committee. 

Olga is showing on Sunday 20th March, 4pm; Tuesday 22nd March, 12.30pm & Thursday 24th March, 9pm. 

Book tickets at https://readingbiscuitfactory.co.uk/whats-on/olga 

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Banff film festival

Karen Neville

film

Picture credit: Ben Tibbetts

Celebrate the great outdoors with exhilarating stories and intrepid characters as the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour returns for 2020. 

The tour features two different collections of films from the world’s best film makers, with super-human challenges, inspiring journeys and stunning cinematography from the four corners of the globe.

The tour’s films are chosen from hundreds of entries into the Banff Mountain Film Festival, which is held every November in the Canadian Rockies. The UK and Ireland tour visits 60 locations along the way. As well as thrilling films, each event features a free prize draw for exciting outdoorsy goodies from the tour partners.

UK tour director Neil Teasdale said: “We can’t wait to share the latest inspirational films from the world’s most prestigious mountain film festival on our biggest tour yet.

“As well as exhilarating stories starring intrepid characters and pioneering journeys, an evening at Banff is a celebration of the great outdoors, with a vibrant atmosphere and a real sense of community. And we guarantee audiences will leave inspired to have an adventure of their own.”

For more information about the films and to book tickets visit www.banff-uk.com

The tour comes to G Live in Guildford on 13th March with the ‘red’ series of films and 29th April with the ‘blue’ series of films.

‘Red’ films – Charge, Danny Day Care, The Flip, Home, Up to Speed, The Imaginary Line, The Ladakh Project and Thabang

‘Blue’ films – A Nordic Skater, Return to Earth, The High Road, Spectre Expedition – Mission Antarctica, The Frenchy, The Long Rover Home and The Running Pastor

All programmes may be subject to change.

Banff film festival

Karen Neville

film

Picture credit: Ben Tibbetts

Celebrate the great outdoors with exhilarating stories and intrepid characters as the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour returns for 2020. 

The tour features two different collections of films from the world’s best film makers, with super-human challenges, inspiring journeys and stunning cinematography from the four corners of the globe.

The tour’s films are chosen from hundreds of entries into the Banff Mountain Film Festival, which is held every November in the Canadian Rockies. The UK and Ireland tour visits 60 locations along the way. As well as thrilling films, each event features a free prize draw for exciting outdoorsy goodies from the tour partners.

UK tour director Neil Teasdale said: “We can’t wait to share the latest inspirational films from the world’s most prestigious mountain film festival on our biggest tour yet.

“As well as exhilarating stories starring intrepid characters and pioneering journeys, an evening at Banff is a celebration of the great outdoors, with a vibrant atmosphere and a real sense of community. And we guarantee audiences will leave inspired to have an adventure of their own.”

For more information about the films and to book tickets visit www.banff-uk.com

The tour comes to Oxford’s New Theatre on28th January; The Hexagon, Reading on 29th January and 18th March; Abingdon’s Amey Theatre on 5th February; Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe on 11th February; Cheltenham’s Town Hall on 12th February and 28th April; Wyvern Theatre, Swindon on 19th February

Oxford, Reading (29th Jan), High Wycombe, Swindon and Cheltenham (12th Feb) are showing the ‘red’ series of films – Charge, Danny Day Care, The Flip, Home, Up to Speed, The Imaginary Line, The Ladakh Project and Thabang

Abingdon, Reading (18th March) and Cheltenham (28th April) are screening the ‘blue’ series of films – A Nordic Skater, Return to Earth, The High Road, Spectre Expedition – Mission Antarctica, The Frenchy, The Long Rover Home and The Running Pastor

All programmes may be subject to change.

Puppy love

Round & About

film

Top Dog Film Festival, coming to Abingdon this month, stars man’s best friend

Who doesn’t love a dog? Whether scruffy or pampered, they really are man’s best friend. So celebrate them in style this month!

Touring the UK for the first time, the Top Dog Film Festival features heart-warming stories of man’s best friend – via the big screen. Using stunning cinematography and heart-warming storytelling, the festival features tales from all around the world.

The collection of canine-inspired short films is touring the UK and comes to Abingdon’s Amey Theatre on Tuesday, 12th November. Tour director Neil Teasdale says: “Humans and dogs share a precious, heart-warming bond, and this new collection of films celebrates the canine companions that enrich our lives.

“Whether you’re a dog owner or just like dogs, these films are guaranteed to make you laugh, cry and fall in love with man’s best friend all over again.”
Highlights include the story of Arthur. A team competing in a gruelling adventure race in Ecuador unexpectedly had a surprise addition to their team.

The athletes encountered a then un-named stray dog, severely injured with a wound on its back – he joined them on their journey and found a home.

Another tale, The Dogist, features Elias Weiss Friedman, who lost his corporate job and took to the streets of New York with his camera and a squeaky tennis ball. Since then he has photographed 30,000 dogs all around the world, racking up 3.2 million followers on Instagram.

The event will also include a free prize giveaway, and a festive, dog-loving atmosphere is guaranteed!

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For more information and tickets, visit

Reading Thames Festival

Round & About

film

Photo: Cirque Bijou – Nic Kane

Reading Thames Festival returns for the third year with a new programme set to change the town’s cultural scene. The world-class festival is made locally, celebrating the incredible creativity of Reading and driven by it.

The four-day festival, which runs from today (26th September) until Sunday 29th, will present music, film, theatre, dance, circus, spoken word, and offer a variety of food and drink.

Taking inspiration from the Thames’ grand heritage as a rich source of creativity, this year, the festival programme addresses themes of change and transformation, exploring how music, performance and the arts can bring people together in times of social unrest.

The festival will bring together more than 20 Reading and Berkshire artists and organisations, including a new co-commission partnership with Reading University. A brand-new festival strand – Art After Dark – will be introduced by performer Janine Harrington this year, due to transform Reading for one unforgettable night. The free one-night event will present art and performances in public spaces you may encounter every day as well as secret, off-the-beaten-track sites and venues.

Among the highlights this year are:

never closer to midnight

Reading on Thames Festival and University of Reading Co Commission
Thursday 26 September
Time: Various from 12pm – 5pm
Venue: White Knights Campus, Reading University, Shinfield Road, Whiteknights Road, Reading RG6 6UA
Free, un-ticketed

A meditative, rhythmic outdoor live art installation, exploring the sense of urgency in the face of climate change by artist Janine Harrington. never closer to midnight will also feature as part of Art After Dark. Harrington’s practice involves choreography, installation, writing and performance. She is interested in game structures, play, access, neurodiversity and the poetics of movement practices.

Art After Dark

Thursday 26 September
Time: 5pm – 10.30pm
Venue: Various venues Reading town centre
Free, un-ticketed

Art After Dark is a new contemporary arts strand that will transform Reading for one night. The free one-night event will present art and performances in public spaces and venues around the town centre. The event invites you to explore Reading’s identity, culture and architecture, offering arts organisations, independent artists and curators the opportunity to present works responding to Reading and the 2019 festival themes.  The Art After Dark trail will bring Reading’s waterways, town centre, heritage quarter and University alive with artworks and pop-up performances in an array of locations. Art After Dark aims to be accessible for a broad audience, giving local people and visitors the chance to discover different places across the town and explore its hidden histories and architecture. The event aims to meet the ever-growing demand for night-time cultural events.

In A Wonderland They Lie – A Riverboat Salon

Friday 27 September
Time: 6.30pm
Venue: Thames River Cruise
Meet Point: Thames River Cruise boarding pier
Ticketed: £10 full price, £6 concessions

In A Wonderland They Lie is a floating literary and musical salon. A riverboat tour showcasing writers and musicians whose work is haunted by a certain spirit of place. Partnering with Thames Cruisers, this event will take place on board one of their beautiful boats, set to sail along the quiet middle reaches of the Thames allowing audiences to see Berkshire from the water. This intimate event is curated by the writer, broadcaster and film-maker Michael Smith.

Acid Brass Fairey Brass Band

Sunday 29 September
Time: 7.30pm – 9pm
Venue: Reading Concert Hall
Ticketed: £12 full price, £7 concessions

Acid Brass is the brainchild of the Turner Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller. It is the unlikely fusion of Acid House anthems with the sound of a traditional British Brass Band, the result of which has received much appreciation from varied audiences across Europe and beyond. Since its conception in 1998, Acid Brass has been performed in locations such as the Tate Modern (London), The Louvre (Paris), and at many large popular music festivals across Europe. The Fairey Band is one of the most successful contesting brass bands in the world. Founded in 1937 by a group of employees at the Fairey Aviation Works in Stockport, the band has won every elite band event on the contest calendar, including the National Championships of Great Britain on nine occasions and the British Open an incredible 16 times.

Cirque Bijou

Saturday 28 September
Time: 6.30pm – 9.30pm
Venue: Reading Abbey
Ticketed: £14 full price, £7 concessions

Following the sold out 2018 Reading on Thames finale event, Cirque Bijou return to perform against the beautiful and historic backdrop of Reading Abbey. They bring the party to Reading with an immersive evening of the most contemporary of circus. Combining traditional skills and daredevilry with modern technology, live music and sophisticated styling, with beautiful, graceful and inspiring performances supported by performances from the communities of Reading against this backdrop.

More info

For full details of all the events at Reading Thames Festival visit their website

Wind in the Willows

Round & About

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Help save Badger, Ratty, Mole and Toad and create a wilder future

Badger, Ratty, Mole and Toad are starring in a new campaign from The Wildlife Trust calling for a wilder future.

A Wind in the Willows trailer (below) featuring in cinemas this weekend shows the threats the much-loved characters are facing and what can be done to help our wildlife before it’s too late.

And it’s received backing from Sir David Attenborough as well as the stars who provide the characters’ voices – Stephen Fry as Badger, Catherine Tate as Ratty, Alison Steadman as Mole and Asim Chaudhry as Toad.

The trailer mirrors the reality of creatures such as the badger, water vole, mole and toad with disruption to their lives by roads, river pollution and intensive agriculture.

Kenneth Grahame wrote Wind in the Willows more than 100 years ago and in the time since it was published in 1908 many of the UK’s wild places and its wildlife have been destroyed.

Ratty, the water vole, is the UK’s most declining mammal and despite work to identify the number in Surrey it is unclear if any still exist in the county. It is presumed extinct.

Almost 70 per cent of toads have been lost over the last 30 years too.

The main problems wildlife face in this country are:

• Loss of habitat from intensive farming and places broken up by roads

• Climate change which disrupts breeding patterns, threatens life cycles and creates food shortages

CEO of Surrey Wildlife Trust, Sarah Jane Chimbwandira said: “People move to Surrey because they love the convenience of commuting to work and living within a beautiful county, with leafy neighbourhoods, iconic woodland views form the Surrey Hills and peaceful riverside walks.”

The decline in UK habitats since Kenneth Grahame’s wonderful tale is truly shocking

She added the county’s wildlife is in great decline and in for it to recover it is essential “to create a mass movement of people calling for change”.

Sarah Jane said: “The Wildlife Trust film is a sad version of The Wind in the Willows – showing how Ratty and Toad have hit the buffers – but it’s not too late to save them in Surrey. We can create strong laws to establish a Nature Recovery Network, which will enable a wider future and help nature make a comeback.”

The aim of the film is to inspire people to help by: contacting politicians to ask for stronger environmental laws; walking in the paw prints of others and imagine what wildlife needs to survive where you live and create a wilder future where you are by playing a part in making changes.

Alison Steadman who plays Mole said: “The decline in UK habitats since Kenneth Grahame’s wonderful tale is truly shocking. Millions of people in this country profess a love of wildlife and we need everyone to be taking it back action to bring about nature’s recovery.

“I wanted to take part in this film to help inspire people to get involved and bring our nature back.”

Sir David gave his support to The Wildlife Trust’s campaign saying: “What we create may not look exactly like the countryside that Kenneth Grahame drew such inspiration from, but our wildlife won’t mind just so long as it has the places it needs to live and thrive.”

Find out what you can do to get involved at www.surreywildlifetrust.org.uk and if you’re going to the cinema this weekend don’t forget to look out for the trailer.