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Huge thanks to all who supported last years film festival!

See below for some of the highlights

Were you there? We'd love to hear your feedback.

Thank you.

Please check back here for details of one off events and for our 2018 programme or sign up to our mailing list (at the bottom of this page) to be kept updated. Thank you!

The festival launched at the wonderful Rendezvous cafe with a special screening of Brighton Rock (1947)

Richard Attenborough, Hermione Baddeley. Director: John Boulting

When - 10 Aug, Where Rendezvous Cafe, Whitley Bay 

We were delighted to welcome Council Chair, Cllr Cath Davis who opened the festival 

Thanks to North Tyneside Council for their valuable support over the years

Thanks to our very own Kolly Kibber who spent the afternoon wandering suspiciously around the promenade, with free festival tickets...

Very special thanks to Tiz, the family and  staff at the Rendezvous Cafe for kindly hosting these screenings over the years...The Piano, Amelie, Shirlie Valentine, The Rebel, The Punch and Judy Man, Metropolis, Brighton Rock and The Sweet Smell of Success.

Thank you!

Ahhh The Stoll...

The Tyne Theatre and Opera House in assocIation with

Whitley Bay Film Festival presented:

WELCOME! I am as passionate about film as I am about theatre and so it is with great pleasure I welcome you to this special Stoll Cinema Years festival. The idea was born as the Tyne Theatre and Opera House Preservation Trust started to plan the celebration of the Theatre’s 150 years in Westgate Road, Newcastle. The theatre has been successfully reborn on several occasions but let’s not forget, I suggested, the 50+ years when it was the Stoll Picture Theatre. As the idea developed we were put in touch with the organisers of the Whitley Bay Film Festival – a marriage made in movie heaven. Thank you, Whitley Bay Film Festival team, for working so enthusiastically with the Tyne Theatre team. Over three action-packed days we invite you to enjoy classic films related to the Stoll years, animation workshops for all ages, scintillating talks about film, all with a special focus on Newcastle and an opportunity for those with memories of the Stoll to recall those days.

Seats in all parts of the house!

Alan Butland

Co-ordinator, Stoll Cinema Years

The Tyne Theatre and Opera House

This was special ...The Whitley Bay Film Festival was honoured to be invited to work with the Tyne Theatre and Opera House, Newcastle,  as part of their 150th anniversary celebrations  For 50+ years the theatre operated as The Stoll (1919-1974) and we were delighted to be given the opportunity to work with them on this very special 3 day festival of The Cinema Years. Ema Lea, Simon Fitzpatrick, WBFF

Do you have memories of The Stoll Picture Theatre? The Tyne Theatre Opera House would love to hear from you: or call 0191 243 1171/1172.

When - 11 to 13 Aug, Where The Tyne Theatre and Opera House - The Stoll Picture Theatre, Westgate Rd, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Photos above: Set up for the Cinema Years

Very sprecial thanks to Alan Butland, Joanne Johnson, Riikka Heiskanen, Linsey Teggert,

The Tyne Theatre and Opera House Preservation Trust

and all of the Tyne Theatre staff. Thankyou!

The Cinema Years Festival opened with the first ever film shown in the building (in 1919) Tarzan of the Apes with a wonderful live piano soundtrack by Joel Tofield-Brown.  (Video clip coming soon). This event was held in the Bistro complete with Mrs Dellows Dainty Teas in reference to the beautiful Winter Gardens restaurant that once occupied an area of the building at that time. Meanwhile, preparations were being made in the auditorium for an in depth and entertaining talk by Dr Andrew Shail, who took us back in time on a fascinating and entertaining journey through The History of Cinema. To follow this, celebrating the output of the latter years of The Stoll Picture Theatre was a screening of the British Horror classic 1973 Theatre Of Blood. Many thanks to Ken Richardson for emerging from the trap door with a surprise Shakespearean intro (and not the trap door we were expecting!...)

Photo right:  Dr Andrew Shail -  The Cinema Years

Thank you Alan Butland, Joanna Johnson Riikka Heiskanen, Linsey Teggert The Tyne Theatre and Opera House Preservation Trust and all the theatre staff. It was a real honour.

Highlights of The Cinema Years programme included a series of animation workshops by award winning animator Sheila Graber, a screening of the original 1933 King Kong feature and silent 1925 film The Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Chaney with a live soundtrack performed by glass extraordinaire Brendan Murphy and electronic trio The Mediators - Steve Brown, Andy Eardley and Oran Milstein (below) (video coming soon)

Our final day in the theatre featured the very first Talkie movie shown in Newcastle - The Singing Fool, screened in the Bistro, followed by an indepth look at films shot in the local area with our good friend, film and media historian Chris Phipps for Forget Carter followed by a screening of the 1959 British film noir The Clouded Yellow.(partially shot in The Ouseburn)

We were later joined by our friend, screenwriter Peter Flannery for a screening of the film The One and Only (2009) and a great informal Q & A hosted by Chris.

Forget Carter by Chris Phipps is published by Tyne Bridge Publishing

Page Title

Pic above - Chris Phipps, Forget Carter

Pic right (from left) Peter Flannery, Simon Fitzpatrick Ema Lea, Chris Phipps, Alan Butland

Then . . .  'back to the bay'  and the Rendezvous Cafe

The event was sponsored by satirical website and TV show The Daily Mash with co founder Paul Stokes presenting the event and his film choice

The Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis Director Alexander Mackendrick

Live music was performed by The Jazz Interventionists. Graham Hardy, Trumpet. Mark Williams, guitar.  

Neil Harland, bass.

Russ Morgan, drums.

Video coming soon...

When - 15 Aug

Where Rendezvous Cafe, Whitley Bay 

Wish You Were Here (1987)

Emily Lloyd, Tom Bell. Director: David Leland.

When - 16 Aug, Where Jam Jar Cinema, Whitley Bay 

Whitley Bay's very own independent cinema, Jam Jar Cinema hosted our next screening. Thank you Jam Jar!

When - 17 to 19 Aug, Where St Mary's Lighthouse

Thanks to Pantrinis for delivering fish and chips to our screenings. 

The festival dates are largely dictated by the tides. This is to accommodate the popular screenings at the iconic St Mary's Light house

This year Lighthouse events included:

A celebration of the work of Val Lewton featuring the film CAT PEOPLE 1942

Simone Simon, Kent Smith. Director Jacques Tourneur Produced By Val Lewton.

presented by our good friend, film and media historian Chris Phipps

Beautiful animation  SONG OF THE SEA  Director Tomm Moore

Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal Gunnar Björnstrand, Max von Sydow. 

and The Boat That Rocked  Director Richard Curtis. starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost, Kenneth Branagh

(right - Late night causeway supplies)


When - 19 /20 Aug, Where Victoria Avenue

For two summer evenings on a street in Whitley Bay.the homes, gardens and public spaces of Victoria Avenue transformed into a venue for contemporary visual art, hosted by the residents.

Now in its 8th year, ArtHouses is an established part of Whitley Bay Film Festival calendar providing a valuable platform for visual artists to present their work and contributing to this vibrant festival which is an important part of the developing character of Whitley Bay.

For more info - Arthouses 2017

Arthouses 2017 was supported by Arts Council England and Big Local, Whitley Bay

The Crescent Club, Cullercoats 24th /25th Aug

Roll up!  Roll Up!  

THE GREAT NORTHERN KINETOSCOPE SHOW 3 in partnership with BBC Newcastle and presented by Chris Phipps.

WBFF 's  most popular  visual sideshow returned for an evening  of shameless regional nostalgia as we plundered the BBC NORTH EAST news and documentary archive.Wonders revealed included our patron Ian La Frenais interviewed in 1985,a local punk expose in 2006, Tosca at Tyne Theatre ,a singing parrot ,giant hogweed -everything from Get Carter to President Jimmy Carter at large on our doorstep. 

Michael Cain on the set of Get Carter 1970

Special thanks to BBC Newcastle for providing the footage and particularly Lesley Fraser who searched the archives and worked with us to select the clips

The event was the first of our 2 day residency at the popular Crescent Club, Cullercoats

Special thanks to our official media partners BBC Newcastle


An Evening with Graham Fellows.

Whitley Bay Film Festival were honoured to welcome back Graham Fellows!

The actor/musician who has delighted Radio 4 listeners and live audiences for 25 years as the comic character, John Shuttleworth, introduced the event, discussing his work and performing unplugged versions of his own and classic Shuttleworth songs  "You're Like Manchester" and "The Man Who Lives On The M62",

This was followed by a screening of Graham's spoof documentary, "Southern Softies", starring John Shuttleworth and the sequel to "It's Nice Up North" which was one of the highlights of last year's festival.

Graham also stayed around for the next pop up event as we moved on to The Exchange in North Shields for a weekend celebration of Punk in the Provinces...

Punk in the Provinces:

It Was Easy, It Was Cheap, Go and Do It!

This was a two-day extravaganza highlighting the iconoclastic film, art, design and attitude of punk rock. With live music from punk legends Penetration and Jilted John, a free exhibition of the alternative aesthetic of the genre and a rare screening of The Great Rock ’n’ Roll Swindle on the big screen,.


Punk In The Provinces explored twin themes: the influence of the punk phenomena as it swept through the regions, and the do-it-yourself ethos of the movement,a DIY spirit that remains influential for alternative arts practitioners to this day, including us here at The Whitley Bay Film Festival.

“During the early punk period around 1976-77, a number of themes emerged that were to become central to what might be called a punk ideology. These included a break with the past, particularly in relation to the music industry and the increasing elitism and complexity of rock music, along with notions of honesty and authenticity, a rejection of authority and the empowerment of individuals.


The twin phrases anyone can do it and do-it-yourself were something of a punk mantra, tied to a vision of independence from the mainstream music industry.”


Russ Bestley, Exhibition Curator,

Punk In The Provinces

When - 25/26  Aug, Where The Exchange, North Shields


It Was Easy, It Was Cheap, Go and Do It!  


The exhibition included:

  • Historic punk - Graphic material curated by punk historian and graphic design specialist Russ Bestley

  • Pauline Murray’s original hand-painted and dyed clothing, press cuttings and photographs from throughout her career dating back to 1977 with seminal punk group Penetration.

  • An exhibition of Punk Art, curated by Gaye Black, former bass player for the Adverts.

Gaye Black Pink Iggy (no.1) 2016 297mm x 210mm

BUG MAN, The Exchange Bar



Many thanks to our official media partners

Celebrating 40 years, Penetration  performed songs from the early days, charting their musical journey through to the present day with projected archive photos and film footage in the Exchange Auditorium

Penetration formed in Ferryhill Co Durham late 1976 after seeing and being inspired by the Sex Pistols. Their intense and energetic live shows soon brought them to the attention of touring bands like the Stranglers and the Vibrators, and their first London show was at the legendary punk club the Roxy in April 1977 supporting Generation X.

There was also a rare opportunity to see a solo set from Jilted John A.K.A. Graham Fellows. Jilted John shot to notoriety with his Martin Hannett-produced hit Jilted John – fondly remembered by many for its chorus refrain “Gordon is a moron” – followed by the brilliant album True Love Stories.

Panel discussion with Dr Russ Bestley, Gaye Black, Pauline Murray and Paul Harvey

Chaired by Russ Bestley, the panel discussed some of the key themes and questions raised within the exhibition, in particular the provincial punk experience and the notion of doing it yourself: the creation of a subculture by its participants from the ground up, rather than just another fashion trend to be bought and consumed.



Director Julien Temple.

Malcolm McLaren, Steve Jones, Paul Cook, Sid Vicious, Johnny Rotten.

The Station Masters Community Wildlife Garden was the setting for the next screening. . .

Many thanks to our official media partners BBC Newcasle for providing this archive. Special thanks to Lesley Fraser

Brief Encounter 1945

Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway. Director: David Lean.

Based on a Noel Coward screenplay, David Lean’s railway station romance is considered to be among his finest works. The 1945 masterpiece, with its stiff upper lips and clipped accents, still makes audiences weep wherever it is shown and what a great setting. The trains seemed to pull in at all the right times.. 

Special thanks to our sponsors for this event Hunter North and to all involved in the community garden for helping set this up and providing the fantastic barbeque! It was a really lovely evening

above - Set up in the Community Garden


Thanks to Hunter North for sponsoring this event

To celebrate their 40 years, Penetration will be playing songs from the early days and charting their musical journey through to the present day with projected archive photos and film footage.


Pauline Murray will be contributing to the exhibition, displaying shirts that she has painted as stage wear throughout her career.

When - 27 Aug, Where Station Masters Garden

Moving North: Coastal came to Whitley Bay. in association with North East Film Archive
This was a rare opportunity to experience a remarkable mix of archive footage on a journey through time revealing the rich film heritage of our North East coastline,

Using amateur and home movies, travelogues and regional TV productions, our curators have been working in partnership with the BFI’s Britain on Film project to preserve and digitise more of our North East film heritage collections to bring audiences a new programme of screenings and events.

The screening revealed the stories of our coastal communities, from the launching of lifeboats to laughing at life with comedian Scarlet O’Hara, the timeless draw of the seaside to locals and visitors alike, and the local industries and traditions passed down through generations to the views of new arrivals to the area.

We were also treated to a wonderful performance from singer songwriter Aaron Duff. Aaron is producing a very personal audio visual solo performance centered around his home town of North Shields where his family have historically been part of the fishing industry. 

The visuals are sourced from NEFA and Amber Films for a project which takes place at The Old Low Light on the afternoon of September 24th in support of North Shields Fishermen’s Heritage Project.

28 Aug - PLAYHOUSE, Whitley Bay


Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt. Director Robert Wiene

With live original soundtrack by The Old Police House Collective

in the beautiful surroundings of Seaton Delaval Hall.

Fresh from performing at Glastonbury's main stage cinema, 'Pilton Palais', The Old Police House Collective performed an atmospheric, live, northern inspired musical score to The Cabinet Of Dr Calligari. With electronics, guitars, vocals, zithers and drum machines.

Fresh from performing at Glastonbury's main stage cinema, 'Pilton Palais', The Old Police House Collective performed an atmospheric, live, northern inspired musical score to The Cabinet Of Dr Calligari. With electronics, guitars, vocals, zithers and drum machines.

Very special thanks to Emma Thomas and Alice Baines for working with us to put on this event.

Thanks also to the staff and volunteers. A fantastic setting!

When - 30 Aug, Where Seaton Delaval Hall

The Masonic Hall, Whitley Bay was the next venue for a screening of

Monty Python & the Holy Grail 1975

Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin. Directed by Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones.

“We're knights of the Round Table, we dance whene'er we're able”

A very English tale of medieval absurdity in the historic surrounds of the Whitley Bay Masonic Hall.

Very special thanks to Bernie and Alizon for The Holy Tea Shoppe of Antioch :)

When - 31  Aug, Where The Masonic Hall

Mamma Mia 2008

Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Julie Walters.

Outdoor Spanish City Plaza Screening

Very special thanks to Carol Alevroyianni and Richard Broderick, Whitley Bay Carnival for working with us to put this event on.

Warmest thanks also to The Coffee Cart, Di Meos and Beacon Burgers

Thanks to North Tyneside Council for their valuable support

and Verdina for sponsoring this event.

Photos below by Carol Alevroyianni

Information on this years festival coming soon. Please check back or sign up to our mailing list below.

We would like to thank everyone involved in the festival. Thanks especially to our patron Ian La Frenais.

North Tyneside Council and sponsors: The Daily Mash, True Potential Portfolio, Verdina and Loca, Hunter North Recruitment, The Vickers Family, East Coast Taxis and  our official media partners BBC Newcastle.

We'd also like to express warmest thanks to the local business's who support the festival through the take up of advertising opportunities on screen and within our brochure. 

We appreciate your feedback. If you were at any of our events, we'd love to hear from you. Join our mailing list if you'd like to be updated with details of upcoming events

Thanks! Feeddback sent.

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