Keswick Film Festival


Our programme of films featuring the work of female directors has coincided with the development of the F-rating, a new system designed to flag up the significant involvement of women in film, on either side of the camera.

The F-Rating Manifesto

The stories we see on screen influence our lives. We want to hear stories from everyone, not just from one section of society.

We want diversity in filmmaking, both on and off screen.

The F-rating was founded by Holly Tarquini at Bath Film Festival 2014 where we wanted to highlight films which feature prominent women both behind the camera and in front of it.

Every film which ticks yes to the one of the following questions receives the F-rating of approval:

  1. Does it have a female director?
  2. Is it written by a woman?
  3. Is/are there complex female characters on screen who exist in their own right (not simply there to support to the male lead)?

The F stands for feminist.

Feminism is: "The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities." We believe that feminism benefits everyone.


Thursday 24th March 7:00 PM - Alhambra
Ali & Ava
Clio Barnard (2021) UK 95 mins 15

Boisterous landlord Ali (Adeel Akhtar) and pragmatic teaching assistant Ava (Claire Rushbrook) meet through a chance encounter. Over the course of one month, sparks fly and a connection begins to grow. But their newfound passion is threatened by the legacy of Ava's past relationship and by Ali's emotional turmoil following the breakdown of his marriage. Beautifully written, funny and warm, Ali & Ava is a keenly observed portrait of 21st century British society.

Thanks to Altitude Films

Friday 25th March 4:30 PM - Theatre By The Lake
Petite Maman
Céline Sciamma (2021) France 72 mins U

The acclaimed French Director Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire) gives us another wonderfully enchanting tale. When 8 year old Nelly's grandmother dies, she goes with her parents to help sort out her grandmother's house, which is her mother's childhood home. There she meets another young girl whose life soon shows startling parallels to Nelly's own.

Thanks to MUBI

Friday 25th March 4:30 PM - Alhambra
Laura Wandel (2021) Belgium 72 mins 12A

Belgium's outstanding Oscar nomination is brilliantly filmed from a child's eye view.

Seven-year-old Nora and her big brother Abel are back to school. When Nora witnesses Abel being bullied by other kids, she rushes to protect him by warning their father. But Abel forces her to remain silent.

Thanks to New Wave

Friday 25th March 6:30 PM - Theatre By The Lake
Blerta Basholli (2021) Kosovo 84 mins 12A

The Kosovan entry for the International Film Oscar scooped the main awards at Sundance Festival.

Like many women in Kosovo, Fahrije is hoping for news about her husband, who is still missing seven years after the war. Widows are not expected to work, but she has to provide for her family and joins forces with other widows to start a business producing ajvar. This is even though the community already condemns her for daring to drive.

As storytelling, this is as good as it gets.

Thanks to Altitude Films

Saturday 26th March 11:00 AM - Theatre By The Lake
There Is A Field
Jen Marlowe USA TBC

The Keswick Peace and Human Rights Group selection.

In October 2000, a police officer shot and killed unarmed 17-year old Asel Asleh. His story is tragically familiar for Americans, but Asel was not killed in Ferguson, New York City, Atlanta, or Minneapolis. Asel was a Palestinian teenager who was murdered by Israeli police as he participated in a demonstration, calling for an end to the Israeli occupation and settler-colonization.

There Is A Field began as a play about Asel's life and his death and the film intercuts performance and archive footage.

Thanks to Donkeysaddle Projects

Saturday 26th March 9:00 PM - Theatre By The Lake
Julia Ducournau (2021) France 108 mins 18

Injured in a car accident as a child, Alexia, played by Agathe Rousselle, has a titanium plate fitted into her head, and develops an extreme fetish for cars. Her subsequent encounters with men, women and vehicles reveal her loneliness and search for belonging. This body horror film is, according to the director, an attempt to talk about love without words.

Thanks to Altitude Films

Sunday 27th March 11:00 AM - Rheged
The Souvenir: Part II
Joanna Hogg (2021) UK 107 mins 15

Sight & Sound named Joanna Hogg's sequel as their film of the year, just like they did with Part One in 2019.

In the aftermath of her tumultuous relationship with a charismatic but manipulative older man, Julie begins to untangle her fraught love for him by making her graduation film and sorting fact from his elaborately constructed fiction.

Thanks to Picturehouse Entertainment

Supported by Film Hub North, led by Showroom Workstation. Proud to be part of the BFI Film Audience Network

Film Hub North BFI Film Audience Network