Stoke Your Fires film festival to return to venues around Stoke-on-Trent

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Popular film festival Stoke Your Fires is to return to Stoke-on-Trent after a year-long hiatus.

The event last ran in 2015 before being put under review.

But now the initiative will return as a mini-festival amid plans to revive the popular city-wide event.

Films to engage non-cinema going audiences will be screened at a range of venues across Stoke-on-Trent, including Stoke Film Theatre on College Road, Shelton.

Programming begins on Wednesday March 22 with a showing of documentary ‘We Are Not Defeated’, made as a tribute to miners’ wives.

The festival will screen two more films on Saturday March 25 – ‘Out of the Ashes’ at the Stoke Film Theatre at 3pm before ‘Chester P For Mayor – Hip Hop, Homelessness and the Housing Crisis’ at the YMCA with a 7pm start.

Isla Telford, assistant producer at Hartshill-based art organistion B-Arts, said: “The 2017 mini-fest has screenings for different communities within the city – so the concept is a ‘bottom-up’ approach to programming.

“Active community members and promoters have told us what films or ways of screening films would suit the communities that they serve.

“For example, the ‘Chester P For Mayor’ screening is hosted by CULT, a local hip-hop promoter, and ‘Out of the Ashes’ is hosted by Said Karimi, an Afghan community member.

“We believe Stoke Your Fires is an opportunity to celebrate the rich diversity of cultures in Stoke-on-Trent, as well as being an opportunity to show films.”

The event will also be used to launch a consultation to see what people would like in future film festivals.

Birmingham charity Flatpack Film will be on hand to talk about putting on film nights, and there will be screenings of local films in ‘non-film spaces’.

Trevelyan Wright, executive director of Stoke Your Fires, said: “We think Stoke needs and deserves a proper celebration of film, whether it’s made in the city or connects to the shared passions of the people of Stoke.

“We’re very excited about working with a wide range  of partners, including Stoke Film Theatre, Flatpack Film Festival from Birmingham and the YMCA, to develop Stoke Your Fires over the next few years as a film festival for everyone in the city.”

For more information and tickets, visit Stoke Your Fires Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/stokeyourfiresfilmfest

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