Bristol's biggest genre film festival will return in May

This year's festival will be honouring director Peter Hyams and cinema's most deadly women.
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Forbidden Worlds Film Festival will be returning to Bristol Aquarium Cinema from May 16 to 19.

The festival first launched in May 2022 and is dedicated to screening repertory fantasy, action, science-fiction and horror films from around the world and celebrating the people who made them.

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This year, veteran genre screenwriter, cinematographer and director Peter Hyams will be celebrated as 'the legend' with three of his most iconic films - Capricorn One (1977), Outland (1981) and Timecop (1994)- screened to showcase his genre-film credentials across the decades on May 17 at 3.30pm, May 18 at 9pm and May 19 at 6.30pm respectively.

The iconic actresses and their characters who have been direct inspirations for many of the new generation of female action stars that we enjoy today will also be celebrated with screenings of  Blue Steel (1990) on May 16 at 9pm, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958) and  Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion (1972) on May 17 at 2pm and 9.30pm, Foxy Brown (1974) and a brand-new 4K restoration Nikita (1990) on May 18 at noon and 6.30pm, and The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) on May 19 at 8.30pm.

Some classic and sci-fi adventures will be screened, including Speed (1994) on May 16 at 6pm, Kin-dza-dza! (1986) and Stargate (1994) on May 17 at 11am and 7pm, The Last Starfighter (1984) on May 18 at 2pm, and Innerspace (1987) and The Devil's Sword (1984) on May 19 at 11.30am and 2pm.

The Genre Filmmakers of the Future Shorts Showcase will be held on Saturday and Sunday at 4.30pm where attendees can enjoy action, horror and sci-fi shorts from filmmakers both local and international. The shorts will be judged by a professional judges panel which includes We Are Lady Parts and Polite Society director Nida Manzoor and Host producer Jed Shepherd. Audience members will also have the opportunity to vote for their favourite short.

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Full Festival Passes cost £110, Weekend Passes (Friday to Sunday) £100, Thursday Day Passes cost £15 and Friday, Saturday and Sunday Day Passes cost £35 and can be booked here.

New Bristol Brewery will be providing a unique selection of beers including The Forbidden Sesh - their Forbidden Worlds Festival-branded IPA - and Espensen Spirits will be providing a range of exciting programme-themed cocktails. 

The festival poster has once again been designed by local artist Jim’ll Paint It, who will be at the festival selling posters and t-shirts as well as other local vendors.

Director Timon Singh shared: "This Forbidden Worlds, we wanted to do something totally different from the monsters and martial arts mayhem of last year and look forward to unleashing everything from Soviet science-fiction to weird Indonesian fantasy flicks to classic crowd-pleasing blockbusters like Speed and Stargate upon our audiences, plus, hopefully, we’ll have a few surprises as well."

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Director Dave Taylor added: "We’ve spent loads of hours tinkering and calling in several favours to get the picture and sound in the best shape it can possibly be in. Amps have been replaced, speakers fine-tuned and we have a new 1:1 lens that will fill the screen even more than before. It has to be seen and heard to be believed!"

With regards to Peter Hyams, Anthony Nield, Lead Programmer, shared: "Peter Hyams, along with John Badham, is one of the first filmmakers I became aware of. Discovering a love for film in the late eighties and early nineties, which was mostly focused on genre cinema, the credit ‘Directed by Peter Hyams’ cropped up regularly. 

"And it always guaranteed a lean, efficient, no-nonsense approach to the thriller, or the action movie, or science fiction, whether that be with Running ScaredCapricorn OneNarrow Margin2010The Star ChamberOutland, and so on. With so many options to choose from, we decided to limit ourselves to one film per decade, thus showing off Hyams’ consistency over the year and demonstrating his skills as a consummate storyteller."

With regards to the celebration of cinema's most deadly women, Lead Programmer Tessa Williams said: "Powerful female characters were few and far between in films made in the twentieth century and that is best put into words by one of our Killer Queens herself, Geena Davis. ‘Identifying with a character is one of the best parts of seeing a movie, but as women, we've had to train ourselves to experience the male journey.’ I’m really excited for our audience to experience the high-octane journeys of these six iconic characters kicking ass on Bristol’s giant screen."

More information on the programme and the festival can be found here.

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