[Press Coverage] Festival celebrating diversity to bring cultural highlights to Cumbria

North West Evening Mail

4 October 2016 1:45PM

A FESTIVAL celebrating age and diversity has been launched, with activities and events planned over the course of October.

Elements got under way at the weekend and promises to bring exciting culture to venues across the county.


The month-long festival focuses on the achievements, joys, needs and interests of mature people from minority backgrounds.

It will feature film, photography, history and literature, with movies and documentaries that often don’t make it to cinemas to be shown at various locations.

Tonia Lu, festival producer, said the idea behind the event was to bring communities together.

She said: “There is a really inspiring choice of films, many of them rarely seen outside big city arthouse cinemas, including some truly life-affirming tales about remarkable people from all around the world.

“One of the big attractions of the film programme is that some of the screenings include the chance to hear from the panelists who chose them – all remarkable women in their own rights.”

 At the launch of Elements - (L-R) Pascale Petit and Adele Patrick.

At the launch of Elements – (L-R) Pascale Petit and Adele Patrick.

Adele Patrick, co-founder of Glasgow Women’s Library, was among three panelists invited to select the festival movies.

She said: “It’s great that Cumbria is having a festival like this – something that highlights and celebrates the unseen stories and the lives of older people from many backgrounds.”

Film/theatre list

Films to be shown locally over the next two weeks include Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement, which tells the story of a lesbian couple who finally get married after 42 years, and The Last Farewell, a portrait of an author’s sorrow over the death of his late husband.

The Forum in Duke Street, Barrow, will broadcast both films on Friday October 14 from 7pm, plus a talk from Lindsay River, LGBT adviser for Age UK and former director of the Polari organisation for older LGBT people.

The Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal will also play an offbeat love story called Love, Lies and Taxidermythis Friday, Saturday and Sunday and then 1972: The Future of Sex on Wednesday October 12, with tickets available for all sessions.

All films will be shown with subtitles and sign language assistance will be available at talks and discussions.

About the concept

This year is the pilot year of Elements and the project is being delivered and managed by a small production team with support from OutREACH Cumbria – the most established LGBT charity in the county.

Elements has been funded by Arts Council England, Copeland Community Fund, Cumbria. Community Foundation and Heritage Lottery Fund.

It involves a variety of partners such as Age UK West Cumbria, Florence Arts Centre and the Wordsworth Trust.

Other highlights of the festival include readings of writings by a group of Copeland residents all over the age of 60 and Pascale Petit, a renowned poet.

This free event will take place at The Bradbury Centre in St George’s Road, Millom, on Monday October 24 from 7pm, and at Dove Cottage in Grasmere on Thursday October 20 at 7pm.

For more details of the programme and events outside south Cumbria, click here.