Branchage Festival, Jersey. 24-28 September

Forever immediately identifiable around the world from the opening bars of the Doctor Who theme, the sounds of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop were revolutionary and futuristic, yet have come to be seen as quintessentially British, as they pioneered electronic music techniques and took them into millions of homes as the other-worldly soundtrack to science fiction TV dramas of the 1960s and 70s, from Blake’s 7 to Quatermass And The Pit. Now reformed around founder member Dr Dick Mills, these sonic adventurers are guest curators of this year’s Branchage Festival on Jersey, one of the world’s most adventurous and creative film festivals.

To balance the Workshop’s English eccentricity and represent the mixed culture of the Channel Islands, their fellow curator Agnes B is a global name in French design, crossing the worlds of film and fashion – her suits took centre stage in Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction and recently she made her directorial debut with the film Je M’Appelle Hmmm, which will feature at the festival. They have each programmed a diverse strand of films for the festival reflecting their particular interests, while the Workshop will also present a masterclass on foley art.

The theme of this year’s festival is “Make your own Island” with a participatory, community atmosphere including: a diverse range of foreign film screenings exploring language, live music, comedy and spoken word events, educational talks, food events and parties, all taking place in an array of historic, eccentric and picturesque locations across the island.

Among the films selected are Florian Habicht’s music documentary Pulp: A Film About Life, Death And Supermarkets, and the latest film from Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind Oscar-winner Michel Gondry, Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy? in which animation brings a far-ranging conversation with philosopher Noam Chomsky to visual life. Jersey filmmaker Alastair Layzell will also screen his George Clooney-narrated JFK documentary One PM Central Standard Time for the first time on the island. Meanwhile A Night At The Cinema In 1914 will feature a compilation of freshly-restored films from the BFI National Archive soundtracked live by pianist James Lingard.

After having previously been centred around St Helier, Branchage is shifting its focus in 2014 to the west of the island, in particular St Aubin’s Village. Home to the island’s first harbour, this historic corner of Jersey is the perfect location for this year’s festival. This year, Millbrook’s Coronation Park will be the home of the century-old Belgian Spiegeltent which is the base for all things Branchage.

Branchage Festival will also host a special screening of two recently discovered films featuring the late comedian and actor Peter Sellers, for the second time only in more than 50 years. In partnership with Jersey Film Society, the screening will be followed by a Q&A with Robert Farrow and Paul Cotsgrove who respectively found and restored the films.

St Aubin’s Village will be host to a number of screenings and live soundtrack events. The full venue list and programme to date can be seen at www.branchagefestival.com

Branchage Festival; 24-28 September; Various venues, St Aubin’s, Jersey; www.branchagefestival.com

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Credit:
1. Radiophonic Workshop performing at LEAF photo: Victor Frankowski