Blackpool beats Leicester Square to screen new movie at Winter Gardens Film Festival

From left: Deborah Frances-White. Lisa Brenner and Jay Stern at Blackpool Opera House
From left: Deborah Frances-White. Lisa Brenner and Jay Stern at Blackpool Opera House
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It’s not often Blackpool steals a march on Leicester Square but it did just that when the resort hosted a screening of comedy thriller Say My Name as part of the Winter Gardens Film Festival.

Tonight (Tuesday) sees the film premier in the capital and expect its profile to rise as it hopefully picks up national distribution.

So to watch it in the company of screenplay writer Deborah Frances-White, director Jay Stern and leading actress/producer Lisa Brenner was a privilege indeed.

Afterwards the trio hosted a lively question and answer session, giving fans an insight into how the film – which dramatically opens with a pair of mis-matched lovers interrupted during a one-night stand by equally hapless robbers – came about.

Deborah is also well-known for her The Guilty Feminist podcast and draws on much of that comedy for Say My Name,

Attracting film-makers of this calibre is a sign of how far the festival, which celebrated its fifth birthday this year, has come.

The weekend kicked off with That’s Entertainment, a dash through the history of musicals and dance in the MGM movies and an education for anyone interested in cinematic heritage.

Black and white ruled the day on Saturday with highlights including a screening of kitchen sink drama A Taste of Honey (very apt with its Blackpool scenes), which launched the career of Rita Tushingham.

The festival also hosted its second Black and White Short Film Competition with entries from around the globe including as far afield as Iran and Japan.

Interspersed with the screen action were workshops, a showcase of short films and a 1940s tea dance.

And all presented in fantastic settings with the Opera House in particular once more proving it’s a great place to see a movie.