The countdown to St Albans’ second Film Festival, which will roll out next month, has officially begun.

The festival weekend will launch on the evening of Thursday, May 1 with a screening of the Hitchcock classic The Birds in The Abbey, with a very special guest appearance from the film-star Hedwig from the Harry Potter movies, who will be flying around the cathedral prior to the film screening

The annual film festival launched last year and celebrates the city’s Roman heritage, becoming a popular location with film-makers, directors and actors.

As part of the bank holiday weekend of May 1 to May 4 venues across the city, including Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre and the Cathedral, will be used to screen more than 100 feature films and short films.

Leoni Kibbey, festival director, said: "We are really excited about the great events we have planned for this year.  Our theme is Birds & Flight and so we are delighted that London Luton Airport is our headline sponsor this year. 

"St Albans doesn’t actually have a cinema at the moment, although plans are afoot for one, but in the meantime, we are using some wonderful locations to screen films, like the beautiful cathedral and the new swimming pool, as well as local theatres, pubs, and even the medieval clock tower.

"We’ve also had a tremendous response from film makers this year, with over 300 entries from across the globe already received in the short film competition. "

There will also be a special free parachute display on Sunday in Verulamium Park hosted by the Red Arrows Falcons, the UK’s premier military parachute display team.