Friday, 12 March 2010

Harry Potter and the fantastic festival of film

Caption: The gala screening of "How to Train Your Dragon" and the first four Harry Potter films back-to-back are two of the highlights of this year's festival

A visit by a popular children’s author and the rare chance to see the first four Harry Potter films back-to-back on the big screen have been revealed as two of the highlights of this year’s Leeds Young People’s Film Festival.

The festival organised by Leeds City Council and the award-winning group of young film enthusiasts MediaFish returns for its 11th year from Monday 29th March to Friday 9th April with a range of screenings, special guests and workshops.

Based at Hyde Park Picture House again after a successful first appearance there last year, the festival opens with the premiere of the new DreamWorks animated adventure “How to Train Your Dragon” on Wednesday 31st March.

The film is set in the mythical world of Vikings and centres around a teenager named Hiccup and what happens to him when he takes part in training to be a warrior and slay dragons. This is the first of the eight ‘Hiccup’ books to be turned into a film and the author, Cressida Cowell, will be making a special appearance at the screening to introduce the film, talk about her career and sign copies of her work.

Fans of Harry Potter should also flock to the festival on Monday 5th April as from 10am to 10pm the day will see the first four films in the series shown back-to-back. With the final instalment due out at the end of the year, this will be the perfect way to refresh the memory as to the story so far. Apart from the screenings there will also be a special guest appearance by Chris Rankin who plays Percy Weasley, while in order to create the magic of Hogwarts fans are encouraged to go along in fancy dress with prizes for the best-dressed wizard.

Other events during the festival include ‘Eco Day’ on Friday 2nd April which will see a day of films, talks and events about protecting the environment, while the best young new filmmaking talent in the UK will be on show at the National Young Filmmakers Award to be held on Saturday 3rd April.

Aside from the screenings, there will also be a variety of workshops looking at all aspects of film being held in the Film Academy in Leeds Town Hall and in the Central Library.

Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Councillor John Procter said:

“The Leeds Young People’s Film Festival has established itself as one of the highlight events of the year and continues to get better and better.

“We are delighted to welcome Cressida Cowell to the event this year and the Harry Potter day is sure to be hugely popular so for any young person with an interest in films the festival is definitely the place to be.”

Director of Leeds Young People’s Film Festival Debbie Maturi said:

“For any young film fans the 11th Leeds Young People’s Film Festival is sure to be an unmissable event. As well as an incredible line-up of screenings and special events at our host venue the Hyde Park Picture House, we have a host of workshops, more film guests than ever before and a range of fantastic free interactive events!”

Full details of the festival programme will be available at from Friday 12th March or to receive a brochure about screenings and workshops please send your details to Advance tickets can also be booked by calling the Box Office on 0113 224 3801.

The 11th Leeds Young People’s Film Festival is supported by Screen Yorkshire, LS Cash, Leeds City College, Find Your Talent and Education Leeds.

For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Learning and Leisure Media Relations Officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email: