Nine things you can't miss at the St Albans Film Festival this year

St Albans & Harpenden Review: Nine things you can't miss at the St Albans Film Festival this year Nine things you can't miss at the St Albans Film Festival this year

The second annual St Albans Film Festival runs from May 1-4, across the Bank Holiday weekend, with the theme of birds.

There will be a wide variety of screenings and special events across the city and a chance to see the finalists in the film awards and find out the winners who were picked from hundreds of entries from across the globe. 

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.

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.

We have spoken to some of the people behind the festival's highlights and listed some of our other favourites in this comprehensive guide.

1. Read about festival founder and director Leoni Kilbey, who promises "much more diversity" at this year’s festival.

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2. Read about St Albans director Dan Smith, who reveals what it is like to direct Sir David Attenborough. He will be hosting a Q&A on Saturday, May 3 from 1.30pm at Verulamium Museum.    

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3. Read about special effects expert Mike Peel who reveals how 'you have to reasearch dead bodies to make it look realistic'.  He will be giving demonstrations of vampire and zombie makeup on Saturday, May 3 from 11am to 4pm at St Albans Town Hall.

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4. Festival grand opening - featuring the real Hedwig from Harry Potter and a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. St Albans Abbey, Thursday, May 1, from 6.45pm.

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5. Wet and wild - are you brave enough to watch Jaws in the swimming pool at Westminster Lodge on Saturday, May 3 from 7pm? Over 18s only.

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6. Anime - Screeing of one of the best animated features ever and Studio Ghibli’s inspiration, The King and the Mockingbird, on Saturday, May 3 from 10am.

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7. Harry Potter costumes - find out the secrets behind the costumes from Harry Potter at The Pioneer Club on Saturday, May 3 from 10.45-11.45am.

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8. Flying without wings - the RAF Falcons parachute display team will freefall at 120mph into Verulamium Park on Sunday, May 4 at 11am. Free event.

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9. Look but don't touch - former £2,000 a night escort Miranda Kane will expose hilarious and heart-warming moments from her career at Maltings Arts Theatre on Friday, May 2 from 8pm.

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