Compass Film Festival Press Release

Festival dates: 3­­­–24 October 2009
Desire – explored through the cultural lens of Cuba, Lebanon, America and France – represents the thematic heart of the fourth Compass Festival in Bristol. Using the conceptual points of a compass to navigate the festival’s narrative, the programme will offer up an impressive menu of film screenings, poetry, music, dance, magic and discussion, taking audiences from French burlesque cabaret to the island of Cuba; from the seedy depths of an American speak-easy to the eastern shores of Lebanon.
Warm-up event Rhymes Spoken Word sparks the fires of the Compass bonanza on Saturday 3 October with an evening of live spoken word and poetry from some of Bristol's finest wordsmiths, plus London-based lyricist Kate Tempest (and open-mic spot for local budding talent to showcase their rhymes).
Following an initial launch party on the Friday 9 at festival venue Trinity, offering up tantalising tasters of festival highlights, Compass kicks off in full swing on Saturday 10, transporting audiences to the glittering lounges of French cabaret and burlesque. Alluring acrobatics, sumptuous striptease and captivating can-can all recreate the raucous atmosphere of the Moulin Rouge, alongside a programme of cinematic delights including a feature screening of L'Invitation au Voyage (Dulac, 1927), and a programme of French shorts donated by the Institut Français-Ciné Lumière including animation Les Crayons (Barcelo, 2004) and French Kiss (Peretjatko, 2004).
Moving westward on Sunday 11, the Compass gaze swings to the exotic island of Cuba for another double-bill film bonanza. First up: Memories of Underdevelopment (Alea, 1968). Set historically in the period between the Bay of Pigs offensive and the Cuban Missile Crisis, a middle-class Cuban, Sergio, tries to understand the new Cuba and his place within it through a serious of romantic relationships. After a lively interval showcasing local Cuban salsa talents, the final film of the festival is Fresa y Chocolate (Alea, 1994). Cast in the faded grandeur of Havana’s crumbling colonial facades, Fresa y Chocolate examines freedom of expression, tolerance, revolutionary watchfulness, and the flaws of revolutionary Cuban society.
On Saturday 17, the festival throws the spotlight on America, casting audiences back into the era of sleazy 1920s Prohibition. The evening’s bill shows off dancers, singers, magicians and circus performers as well as some of the sexiest films of the day in a specially curated programme of silent movies in collaboration with Bristol Silents and the Watershed, accompanied by live piano.
Finally the festival axis turns to Lebanon on Sunday 18, with a feature double bill screening. Caramel (Labaki, 2007) is served up first: a heart warming romantic comedy about a group of Lebanese women, whose respective turmoils in love and life are borne through the friendship that binds them. Following this, the widely acclaimed hallucinatory remembrance of the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon – Waltz with Bashir (Folman, 2008). Folman’s animation is a beautifully paced, exquisitely drawn masterpiece exploring themes of trauma and guilt through a soldier’s memory.
For a final helping of amorous creativity, Compass gives budding short-film makers a chance to sizzle the silver screen with bite-size cinematic treats at Five Minutes of Fire Short Film Competition on Saturday 24. Films will be judged by panel of experts, with an audience award for the favourite.
Compass at Shambala Festival – 27th–30th August
The Compass of Desire Tent presents a smorgasbord of weird and wonderful acts, surreal encounters and libidinous beats in the sumptuously sexy world of their late-night boudoir at Shambala Festival.
Highlights to include
• The words and beats of London-based lyricist Kate Tempest (plus live hip hop from Sound of Rum)
• Take a trip into wild world of Victorian micro-rave, smoke emitting gramophones and time machines with festival favourites, Vexkiddy
• KaraUke – karaoke with a live Ukulele backing band. You sing, They play!
• Plus, burlesque, magic, and foodie treats provided by The Runcible Spoon
Main festival venue
The Trinity Centre
Trinity Road, Bristol, BS2 0NW
Rhymes Spoken Word
St Werburgh's City Farm Cafe
Five Minutes of Fire Short Film Competition
Cube Microplex Cinema
Single Events: £5/ £4 +b.f.
Double Bill Films: £6/ £5 +b.f.
Tickets available from Bristol Ticket Shop (01179299008 / and Genesis Musik & Clothing (01179355764)
Fully licensed bar. Hot food and snacks available courtesy of The Runcible Spoon
Marcus Siddall

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Compass Film CIC is an established not-for profit organisation striving to present cultural events that are fresh and imaginative in Bristol. The company’s main activity is the preparation and delivery of the annual themed arts & film festival. Each year they choose a different concept through which to explore local and international cinema and wider arts.
Please visit the Compass website for all information on tickets, venue and directions: