AFTER a two-year gap, The Purbeck Film Festival is returning later this month with a shorter and more compact film festival jam-packed with films.

There are 65 films to see from all over the world from Japan to Chile along with two opening galas at the Rex Cinema and Mowlem Theatre on October 22.

There will also be a closing gala night featuring an on-stage remake of Alien by a group of now famous bus drivers.

If you enjoy food with your films, there will also be a film evening at the Holme for Gardens and Nusara restaurants.

There are numerous special guests from the film industry joining the film festival this year, including the much loved British stage and screen actress Dame Harriet Walter DBE presenting Herself; President of the Writers’ Guild, scriptwriter Olivia Hetreed, and producer Andy Paterson Girl With A Pearl Earring; the award winning Director of Maudie (starring Sally Hawkins & Ethan Hawke), Aisling Walsh; and director Taghi Amirani who will introduce and talk about Coup 53.

Other offerings during the festival include cakes from Love Cake in Swanage and The Bear in Wareham, and at the Rex morning events you can try coffee donated to the festival by Coffee Saloon.

For families there are eight films to choose from that will allow your children to travel the world from their cinema booster seat through storytelling and animation.

You can still enjoy a taste of France with a double bill of French films sponsored by the Black Swan in Swanage and hosted by French actor Laurent Lucas who features in The Time of Our Lives, Poldark and Sex Education.

Chair of the festival, Andrea Etherington said: “It is vital that we return with the festival this year as we haven’t run since 2019, and we hope that everyone will enjoy our carefully selected programme with something for everyone.

“The volunteer team has been working so hard on organisation behind the scenes in order that we can deliver a high quality and exciting event, and we invite you to visit our new, bright, fresh website where you can book all your films. Support from audiences this year is vital for our survival, like so many other arts venues and festivals, but we hope that making the 2021 festival happen will bring great culture, entertainment and a fantastic experience for Purbeck.”

Bookings for all films are open on the new Purbeck Film Festival website