Why ‘Chitty’ is Still Sir Kenneth’s Favourite Film

Newsletter.co.uk, 27 September 2019
By Una Culkin

Sir Kenneth Branagh’s favourite childhood film is being screened as part of the Into Film Festival in November.

The family favourite ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ plays at the Waterside Theatre in Londonderry on November 13 as part of the world’s largest free film festival for young people.

The celebrated actor/director fell in love with the Disney classic ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ as a young boy growing up in Tiger’s Bay in North Belfast.

Sir Kenneth who is Northern Ireland ambassador of the UK-wide Into Film Festival, spoke of how the 1968 musical comedy inspired his love of film and is delighted that it is being screened during the festival which takes place from November 6-22.

“When I was seven I was hypnotised by Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It had a fantastical house you wanted to live in, with an amazing kitchen, with a contraption that looked like a giant version of the board game mousetrap, that delivered your breakfast, a flying car, and the scariest of movie villains, the Childcatcher. It had big music, big colour, big screen and was very funny. I came out of the cinema in love with movies,” he said.

The star, famous for his film adaptations of Shakespeare, left Northern Ireland with his family at the age of nine. He became famous in the title role of the BBC’s ‘Billy Plays’ written by Graham Reid and broadcast in the early 1980’s.

The seventh Into Film Festival returns to Northern Ireland with more than 3,000 free screenings and special events taking place across the United Kingdom. The festival will welcome half a million pupils to explore the magic of the movies. In Northern Ireland there are 80 screenings in 20 towns and cities offering more than 18,000 places.

Sean Kelly of Into Film said there would be screenings and events across the whole of Northern Ireland: “Last year we had 12,500 young people participating and this year we expect it to be even bigger!”

Showcasing the best films of the past year, hot previews of new films and must-see classics, the Into Film Festival caters for pupils aged 5-19 and the festival strands and resources are designed to support the extensive programme.

The festival is free for all pupils and teachers and screenings and events get snapped up fast, so check out www.intofilm.org/festival

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