Borderlines patron Francine Stock reflects on the festival's appeal and this year's highlights (From Hereford Times)
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Borderlines patron Francine Stock reflects on the festival's appeal and this year's highlights
9:46am Friday 22nd February 2013 in News
LIVING much of the time in Hay-on- Wye and working on Radio 4’s Film Programme created a ‘natural synergy’ says Francine Stock, explaining how she became one of Borderlines Film Festival’s two patrons.
“It manages to spread itself so widely,” she says of the festival’s enduring appeal, “and to be so ambitious at the same time as being personal and local.
“It’s quite unusual for a festival to do so many things within a short period of time and over such a wide geographic area, taking things into tiny little venues as well as doing outdoor and sitespecific screenings.”
At this year’s festival Francine can be heard on Friday, March 1, in conversation with fellow festival patron Chris Menges, double Academy Award-winning cinematographer and director (The Killing Fields and The Mission) as he talks about a life dedicated to cinema.
Later, on March 10, she will talk to Sir Derek Jacobi about his career on screen and stage.
“I am really impressed at this year’s programme, and how carefully films have been selected to be adventurous yet accessible.”
Reflecting on the significance of Borderlines to the region, Francine adds: “They are bringing these films to you on the big screen and it’s enormously important. I can’t think of many festivals around the world that do what Borderlines does.”
With so much in this year’s programme, it is hard, says Francine to single out any one film, but she does point to the rare opportunity the festival offers to see Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Conformist.
“People don’t often have the chance to see it and it’s just fabulous. I lent it to my mother the other day and she was completely blown away by it.
“Of the new films, Bullhead is a very unusual, but topical, film about body-building and doping.”
It’s a film, she says, that went relatively unnoticed on release last year, but will be of interest to beef farmers, dealing as it does with the use of steroids given to cattle to enhance meat.
In spite of seeing hundreds of films, Francine has lost none of her enthusiasm for the medium after six years on Front Row and a further nine presenting The Film Programme. “It amazes me that I still get into a preview theatre and there is that moment when I think, ‘What will this be?’.
I do love it.”
And though, over the years, people have predicted the demise of filmgoing as audiences desert cinemas in favour of a 42in TV in their living room, with films seen only on DVD and in multiplexes, Francine isn’t so sure.
“What is demonstrable is that people like to go and see films with at least one other person and make it an event. That’s why Borderlines is so great – it’s a wonderful celebration of film clubs and societies and how people still want to get together and watch one film at the same time.”
For full programme details go to borderlines.co.uk