Diary dates:               

Thursday 2 to Sunday 12 November 2017

The oldest film festival in SW England, the newly renamed FilmBath Festival, makes history by becoming the first event of its type in the world to present a programme featuring 51% of films with female directors

Dates, times and venues vary – see www.filmbath.org.uk

An equality milestone is reached this week as south west England’s longest running festival of cinema opens public bookings for a 27th annual screenings programme featuring more credits for women directors than men.

Newly-published print and online guides to the city of Bath’s FilmBath Festival 2017 show that 22 of the 43 feature films on offer from November 2 to 12 have women directors – making it the first general interest film festival in the world to achieve such a balance.

In addition, a dozen of the films directed by women are written by and star women, too, so qualifying as triple F-Rated under the fast-spreading classification system pioneered by FilmBath to challenge the film industry’s gender bias.

Other high points of the FilmBath Festival 2017 programme include:

  • a record line-up 32 preview screenings – among them BATTLE OF THE SEXES, in which Emma Stone plays tennis ace Billie Jean King; PROFESSOR MARSTON AND THE WONDER WOMEN, about the fascinating story behind Wonder Woman; FILM STARS DON’T DIE IN LIVERPOOL, with Jamie Bell and Annette Bening; Nora Twomey’s latest family animation THE BREADWINNER produced by Angelia Joile; THE FLORIDA PROJECT, featuring what some critics say is Willem Dafoe’s best performance yet and the stand-out hit of the Toronto Film Festival: THREE BILLBOARDS       OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI.
  • Q&As with a wide range of filmmakers including by Stephen Woolley at a 25th anniversary screenings of THE CRYING GAME and the cast, author and company of the locally-made WE COULD BE HEROES.
  • IMDb founder & CEO Col Needham presenting the IMDb New Filmmaker and Script to Screen Awards, for fresh film talent after judging by a panel which includes director Philippa Lowthorpe, screenwriter Andrea Gibb and the head of the Critics Circle, Anna Smith.
  • A new half price ticket offer for film goers aged 25 or under.

FilmBath’s executive director and F-Rating founder Holly Tarquini says: “As longtime champions of equality – especially around who tells the stories we see on cinema screens – FilmBath is delighted that 51% of the films at this year’s festival have women directors – a figure which also reflects the % of women in the population. This balance is unprecedented in the world of broad based film festivals such as ours and involves absolutely no compromise on quality. As the actor David Oyelowo said recently ‘the greatest weapon against prejudice is excellence’ and as ever that’s the yardstick we’ve used throughout our programming”.

Holly Tarquini added: “We are equally proud to be showing a record number of 32 previews, giving our audiences an early chance to watch the films which are destined to be among the most talked-about once they finally go on general release.”

The full programme can be viewed at www.filmbath.org.uk, where online bookings can also be made, or visit/phone the Bath Box Office, Bath Visitor Centre, Abbey Chambers, Abbey Yard, Bath, BA1 1LY, telephone 01225 463 362.

The principal sponsors of the FilmBath Festival 2017 are the British Film Institute (BFI), IMDb, Bath Spa University, Pukka Herbs and GWR (Great Western Railway).

– ends –

Media queries:

Holly Tarquini | 01225 463 458 | holly@filmbath.org.uk or

Pam Beddard | 0117 987 0442/ 07767 621207 | pam.beddard@btinternet.com


For a selection of film stills and other images, please go to:


Notes to Editors

Bath’s first film festival ran from 22 May to 8 June 1991 but screened only one film a day – most of them ‘oldies’, such as The Third Man, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, Reds and 2001: A Space Odyssey. In the years since then the festival, now held every November, has increased so significantly in scope and scale. As a result, the organisers decided a change of name was needed to better reflect the breadth of year-round activities so in September 2017 became FilmBath.

Running alongside the festival, under the new FilmBath umbrella, are two competitions for emerging filmmakers: the IMDb Script to Screen Award and IMDb New Filmmaker Award. FilmBath also runs a year-round scheme of pop up screenings in and around Bath. Another initiative is FilmScore, a competition to encourage the next generation of screen music composers. In addition, FilmBath continues to promote its pioneering F-Rating classification for films to which women have made a significant on or off screen contribution – a rating now being used by IMDb and over 60 cinemas and festivals worldwide.

For more info, please see



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