[Press Release] Movies to Enjoy as Elements Festival Launches in Cumbria

For immediate release                                  3 October, 2016


Movies to Enjoy as Elements Festival Launches in Cumbria

The UK’s first month-long celebration of diversity and old age

Elements, the UK’s first high-quality arts festival celebrating age and diversity, is underway following the weekend’s launch event in Penrith.

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

Saturday’s launch at The Old Fire Station, Penrith, included conversation and poetry with writer in residence Pascale Petit and Adele Patrick, co-founder of Glasgow Women’s Library, who is among three panelists invited to select the festival movies.

This was followed by a screening of one of her choices, Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement.

Adele 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.”

The Elements core programme features film, photography, history and literature and the festival also embraces a host of associated events all across the county. The films are an opportunity to see superb work that often doesn’t make it to cinemas in rural areas like Cumbria and to hear some fascinating speakers (see below).

Tonia Lu, Festival Producer, said: “There is a really inspiring choice of films, many of them rarely seen outside big city art house cinemas, including some truly life affirming tales about remarkable people from all around the world.

“The audience for the first showing of Edie and Thea was just so enthusiastic and really appreciated the chance to hear our guest speakers and chat to them afterwards.

“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.”

The panelists are:

  • Ruth Gould, Director of DaDaFest, one of the most cutting edge disability arts organisations in the UK.
  • Adele Patrick, Co-founder of Glasgow Women’s Library, a creative space and information and support hub for women of all backgrounds.
  • Lindsay River, LGBT advisor for Age UK and former Director of the Polari organisation for older LGBT people.

Films and venues over the next two weeks include:

Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement. After 42 years, feisty and delightful lesbian couple Edie and Thea finally get married. From the early 60s onwards, the tireless community activists persevere through many battles, both personal and political.

  • Tullie House, Carlisle, 7 Oct, 7pm – plus talk with Adele Patrick
  • The Forum, Barrow-in-Furness, 14 Oct, 7pm

Love is Strange: After Ben and George get married, George is fired from his teaching post, forcing them to stay with friends separately while they sell their place and look for cheaper housing — a situation 
that weighs heavily on all involved.

  • Florence Arts Centre, Egremont, 9 Oct, 3pm

Margarita with a Straw: A rebellious young woman with cerebral palsy leaves her home in India to
study in New York. She unexpectedly falls in love, and embarks on an exhilarating journey of self- discovery.

  • Penrith Old Fire Station 7 Oct, 7.30pm


The Tribe: A deaf mute boy joins a boarding school for similar children. Confronted by the violent and criminal antics of some of the other boys and girls, he struggles to conform and join the ‘tribe’.

  • Florence Arts Centre, Egremont, 16 Oct, 3pm (double bill with Annie Dearest) – plus talk with Ruth Gould

Blueprint for Change: Young DaDa worked with a group of young disabled and deaf people who made a short film about the barriers they face in attending youth projects. The film was devised, filmed, edited and narrated by the young people themselves.

  • Florence Arts Centre, Egremont, 16 Oct, 3pm

Annie Dearest: The Real Miracle Worker: A video parody of the classic film
The Miracle Worker, which stared Patty Duke as deaf/blind Helen Keller and Anne Bancroft as Anne Sullivan, Helen’s mentor and tormentor.

  • Florence Arts Centre, Egremont, 9 & 16 Oct, 3pm

A Last Farewell: An unsettling portrait of an aging author’s sorrow over the death of his long-term partner. Haunted by visions of his late husband, and in conflict with his daughter, he must tackle the task of moving on.

  • The Forum, Barrow-in-Furness, 14 Oct, 7pm – plus talk with Lindsay River
  • Florence Arts Centre, Egremont, 9 & 16 Oct, 3pm

Throughout the festival there is also the chance to see the CELEBRATE: LGBT History in Cumbria exhibition at Tullie House, Carlisle. It is the culmination of a two-year Heritage Lottery funded project by OutREACH Cumbria, with support from Tullie House, that explores the living history of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people in the county.

Accessibility is an important aspect of Elements – all films will be shown with subtitles and BSL language assistance will be available at talks and discussions.


– Ends –

About Elements

  • Elements is a legacy of CELEBRATE: LGBT History in Cumbria project.
  • Elements is organised by OutREACH Cumbria, with partners across Cumbria.
  • The festival is 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, and is supported by Arts Council England and Copeland Community Fund.


The movies

The movie selection has been put together by:

  • Ruth Gould, director of DaDaFest, which celebrates disability culture
  • Adele Patrick, co-founder of Glasgow Women’s Library
  • Lindsay River, former director of Polari and LGBT advisor for Age UK

We work with venues that are accessible for most wheelchair users, all of our films are screened with close captions. British Sign Language interpreters will also be at our core events.

The selection of films:

  • Freaks (1932) Todd Browning
  • Women Like Us (1990) Suzanne Neild & Rosalind Pearson
  • If These Walls Could Talk 2 (2000) Jane Anderson, Martha Coolidge
  • Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement (2009) Susan Muska, Gréta Olafsdóttir
  • Salma (2013) Kim Longinotto
  • Margarita with a Straw (2014) Shonali Bose & Nilesh Maniyar
  • Annie Dearest (2009) The Miracle Worker
  • Blueprints for Change (2011) by DaDaFest
  • A Last Farewell (2013) Casper Andreas


About CELEBRATE: LGBT History in Cumbria

  • CELEBRATE is the first project to explore and uncover the living history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) community in Cumbria.
  • CELEBRATE is a partnership project between OutREACH Cumbria and Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, funded by Heritage Lottery Fund.
  • You can contact Tonia on 07956 336872 or by emailing tonial@outreachcumbria.co.uk
  • The website is at celebratecumbria.co.uk.