Ambitious programme for 2019 Margate Film Festival

X Anniversary - Yvette Farmer

Margate Film Festival returns this year with an ambitious, packed programme following its sell-out debut success last year.

The festival, running from October 23-27, showcases British and  international shorts and features, paired with experimental performance, talks and Q&As.

This year there will be 30 events and screenings across seven venues, five exhibitions, 900 tickets on offer and an expected 2,500 visitors.

The festival embraces a DIY-attitude and community driven programming, collaborating with a wide range of organisations and individuals to present a unique season of events.

Coinciding with the Turner Prize’s residency in Margate, the 2019 edition will explore themes around ‘Against The Tide’; focusing on communal heritage, cultural politics, censorship and migration.

A new local strand includes a programme of short films all shot on location around Margate and the surrounding towns in ‘The Unimagined’.

The opening night feature, ‘Above The Clouds’ by Leon Chambers, takes audiences on a heart-warming coming-of-age road trip from Margate to Scotland and there will be a free pop-up video archive, ‘The Margate Time Warp’, featuring films of Margate from 1925 – 2019.

Scarborough – Barnaby Southcombe

The festival features rebels throughout; from the cheeky Buster Keaton in the family afternoon to witty political protesters in ‘Hail Satan?’, the boundary-crossing taboo relationships in ‘Scarborough’ to the liberated thinkers in ‘Change of Fate’.

In ‘Exodus’ and ‘They Came In Crowded Boats’, short films explore the challenging lives of migrants and refugees, supported by Platforma Festival.

From the hyper-digital; augmented reality and drone footage, to the foundations of image making; using light and shadows, Margate Film Festival presents a week of exhibitions from artists using moving image to reflect the surrounding landscapes, including ‘As Above, So Below’ from Melanie King, Amy Cutler and Sapphire Goss, and ‘The World Is Yours’ at Artgame.

The LGBTQ+ strand includes a Friday night take-over by Margate Pride with ‘Are You Proud?’ about the history of Pride celebrations. ‘Raiki’, originally banned in its own country, hits the big screen at the Palace Cinema, and ‘Seahorse’ tells the story of the dad who gave birth – in QEQM hospital.

Feature films:

  • Opening night Kent premiere screening of local film ‘Above The Clouds’, shot n Margate plus cast and crew Q&A.
  • ‘Are You Proud?’ plus Q&A with Sue Sanders, founder of LGBT History, BFI Flare programmer Zorian Clayton and Margate Pride, followed by a party hosted by Amy Grimehouse.
  • ‘Seahorse’: the true story of the dad who gave birth (at QEQM) and talk from Raising Films about inclusive filmmaking.
  • ‘Scarborough’ and Q&A, looking at consent and taboo relationships.
  • ‘Exodus’ with Director Penny Woolwock Q&A and local extras, with discussion about Brexit and changing outlooks over the last decade.
  • ‘Hail Satan?’ about a group of misunderstood outsiders whose unwavering commitment to social and political justice


  • A showcase of local filmmakers shorts.
  • A shorts screening looking at the global refugee crisis, with talk from Kent Refugee Action Network, part of Platforma Festival.
  • Highlights of queer shorts from BFI Flare.
  • A short film programme about our relationship to the sea + discussion with local artists and filmmakers.


  • An immersive projected exhibition of coded animation curated by Genetic Moo at Woolworths, supported by Margate Festival, ACE & Dreamland.
  • An interactive exhibition exploring artistic ownership and censorship at ArtGame, supported by UCA.
  • ‘Another Idol Has Displaced Me’ – an immersive punk exhibition of Olga Jusianiec-Murphy’s work looking at waste culture.
  • Pop-up video archive of historic Margate films, at Dreamland.

Live Events:

  • A night of ‘exploded cinema’, featuring performances from local musicians working with found footage, DJs and projections.
  • A ‘Sunday Silent’ family friendly live score.…plus family friendly events, workshops and more!

See the full programme at