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For the third year running, Borderlines Film Festival is back in Malvern for 17 days of non-stop cinema. Now in its 17th year, Borderlines is the UK’s largest rural film festival, and one of the best attended film festivals nationally. Set up to redress the paucity of cinema provision in this rural area, the Festival takes place in 25 venues across Herefordshire, Shropshire, Malvern and the Marches, ranging from arts centres, community cinemas, assembly room, village halls and even a church.

The programme at Malvern Theatres which runs from Friday 1 to Sunday 17 March offers a heady mix of world cinema, UK and US indies, documentaries (Free Solo and Evelyn) silent films (the 1922 version of Oliver Twist with child star Jackie Coogan) with live piano accompaniment, as well as award winners like Green Book which took the Best Picture Oscar earlier this week. There’s a chance to see local films like Carousel, from Catcher Media, makers of last year’s highly popular Stories From the Hopyards. Both films are part of an ongoing Heritage Lottery Fund project called Herefordshire Life Through the Lens that draws on the magnificent photographic collection of Derek Evans who was documenting life in the area in the 1950s through to the 1970s.

It’s also a rare chance to catch many titles before their national release; Malvern Theatres are showing a total of 27 titles, eleven of which are previews, including dance films The White Crow (a dramatization of the early years of Rudolf Nureyev, leading to his defection from the USSR in Paris and a portrait of Cuban ballet superstar Carlos Acosta, Yuli.

Audience members are invited to rate the film they have seen by popping their ticket stubs into boxes labelled 1 to 5 stars, and leave their comments on post-it notes which are displayed both in the foyer and online.  Borderlines creates a buzz around film and is an intensely sociable highlight of the year that is simply not-to-miss.

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