New Cumbrian film festival in honour of Cumbrian teacher

Darren Connor
Darren Connor

The team behind a new film festival in Carlisle hope people will support their celebration of independent cinema and film past, present and future.

The May Film Fling will give people the opportunity to watch films they may not ordinarily see. Its theme is 'Films about Film' and it will run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 26, 27 and 28.

The Fling will also feature music, a chance for people to tell their own stories at an open mic and discussions about films.

Joanne McMullen, one of the organisers of the festival, said: “We are excited. Everybody's been really enthusiastic, because everyone who is doing it is doing it for free more or less.”

With its varied line up and support from Carlisle College and Tullie House there is a lot to tempt people.

Joanne was inspired to start the festival to mark the birthday of her friend, Darren Connor, who died aged 40 after collapsing in a cycle event in June 2011.

Darren taught film and TV at the University of Cumbria's Brampton Road campus in Carlisle and was a leading light in the campaign to save the city's last independent cinema. He also played parts in film festivals in Dumfries and Galloway.

The films that will be shown at the May Film Fling include: Paterson, which features Star Wars actor Adam Driver, Harold and Maude, Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words, Sing Street, American Splendor, Be Kind Rewind and +Cowboys.

The films will be shown at Tullie House, the Old Fire Station and Carlisle College.

People are also invited to tell their own stories at a short open mic session in Tullie House, listen to live music from students at Carlisle College and discuss films at various sessions over the three days.

Since the Lonsdale Cinema on Warwick Road closed in 2006, Carlisle has not had an independent cinema. Other places have tried to take up the baton and organisers want the May Film Fling to be a first step in bringing these groups together.

Online ticket sales end at 12pm on Thursday, May 25. Search for May Film Fling '17 at

Any unsold tickets will be available for purchase at the venue doors in cash.

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