Celluloid history celebrated in new film festival being held in Leicester

The celluloid era of filmmaking will be celebrated in a new festival being held by experts from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU). 

An exclusive documentary screening, appearances by special guests and historical artefacts from private collections will all be on display at Film is Fabulous!, taking place at Leicester’s Phoenix cinema. 


Staff from DMU’s Cinema and Television History Institute (CATHI) are working closely with film collectors, cinema lovers and vintage television enthusiasts from across the country, to preserve film for future generations. 

The aim is to protect vulnerable film collections held privately in the United Kingdom, by raising awareness of preservation within the film collecting community and launching a national archiving scheme to document private collections.   

Professor Justin Smith, Director of CATHI, said: “There is a hidden treasure trove of film and television believed to have been lost or wiped, or which didn’t make the transition to video and digital formats, that private collectors and enthusiasts cherish and preserve.  

“This event aims to celebrate their work, to identify and protect rare material, and to begin the task of documenting this hidden history of our moving image heritage for future generations.” 

Film Cans (1)

This aim has led to the creation of the new festival, which will take place at Phoenix on Sunday 29 October. 

Over the course of the day, the event will include: 

  • An exclusive screening of filmmaker Rob Murphy’s documentary about the change from celluloid to digital cinema and the loss of film treasures, entitled ‘Splice Here: A Projected Odyssey’. 

  • Special guests from film and television, with expert knowledge of film collections and preservation including Sue Malden (British Entertainment History Project), Clare Watson (Media Archive of Central England), Steve Roberts (BBC) and Steve Foxon (BFI). 

  • Discussions on the archiving of film, missing television episodes and digital cinema projection. 

  • Screenings of 35mm and Super 8 films, including the largest projected image of Super 8 in Britain. 

  • Film dealers offering a wide selection of formats and titles, plus Bring and Buy tables for attendees. 

Full details are available at the event website and to book tickets, visit the Phoenix website or call the box office on 0116 242 2800.  

Posted on Friday 29 September 2023

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