At Cornwall Film Festival we’re thrilled to announce that we have once again partnered with the British Film Institute (BFI) to bring you another fantastic season of films. This time around we’re delving into filmic adaptations of the literary works one of the greatest writers of all time – none other than William Shakespeare.

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400 years after the death of the Bard, BFI’s Shakespeare on Film Programme is celebrating the writer who has impacted upon cinema more significantly than any other; and through filmic Shakespeare seasons across the UK looks to explore how his work adapted for the big screen. Actor, Sir Ian McKellen, who is the BFI’s spokesperson for the programme has said,

“400 years on, Shakespeare’s plays continue to dominate stages worldwide, mostly of course in translation, challenging actors, directors, designers and audiences. The BFI’s “Shakespeare on Film” is more than just timely, it is a glimpse of the matchless collection of brilliant endeavour from world-beating Shakespeare experts like Laurence Olivier, Peter Brook and Kenneth Branagh whose films have popularised Shakespeare over the years. Their theatre-roots are evident. They have respect for the text and cut lines with regret. Other directors have successfully translated the stage plays for the screen, aiming, perhaps to make great cinema rather than great Shakespeare. Here, I relish Baz Luhrman’s Romeo and Juliet; Julie Taymor’s Titus Andronicus; Orson Welles’ Chimes at Midnight, Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood and Ran. And there are more. I will not be the only one to be grateful to the BFI for their initiative in this anniversary year.”

So where does Cornwall Film Festival Come in? – We’ll be running Shakespeare screenings of our own as part of the Cornwall Shakespeare on Film Season. Firstly we’ll be screening Baz Luhrmann’s now-iconic 1996 adaptation of the classic, Romeo and Juliet, starring Oscar-Winner Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes as the tragic couple. We’re also going to be hosting a Silent Shakespeare event – a unique collection of seven early Shakespeare adaptations made between 1899 and 1911remastered from the only known surviving materials of the originals.



Shakespeare on Film is not just about watching the adaptations based on the Bard’s literary works however, its about engaging with them and learning more about the way in which they were adapted and why they are so poignant – so if you follow the links below you can not only find out more about the events themselves, but you will also find a selection of extra materials contextuallising the film and offering a bit more of an insight into them.




Use the BFI’s Shakespeare on Film Twitter Hashtag for all the latest information on Shakespeare Screenings, Talks and Events up and down the country.