Supported by the BFI and its South West Regional Hub the Purbeck Film Festival has, in its 24 years, continued to grow in terms of venues and audience numbers. Our primary aim is to provide a rich variety of cinematic experiences across a rural area which does not have easy access to foreign language, independent and classic films. Our festival provides a perfect opportunity to compare and contrast stories and styles across a wide range of films. Such a metropolitan approach to film screenings offers the chance to increase our knowledge and literacy of the cinema and can open our minds to new or different worlds.


As well as screening great films, we would also like to invite you to our annual international Purbeck Shorts Competition which takes place during our main October festival, showcasing films by some of the best new local talent as well as budding filmmakers from across the globe. Be the first to see work by directors of the future in a buzzing atmosphere and vote for your favourite film on Friday, 29 October at The Mowlem in Swanage.

We will soon reveal our exciting list of special guests joining us throughout our main festival and offer you memorable experiences that are much more than just film screenings. In the meantime, don’t miss our fantastic summer programme of outdoor screenings in August and September as we put on events throughout the year. If you enjoy great films in quirky and stunning locations then the Purbeck Film Festival is for you!


The Rex in Wareham (now celebrating its centenary as a continuously working cinema) has always been at the heart of the Purbeck Film Festival and it gradually became the hub of the annual two weekly event each autumn. In recent history, the cinema was owned privately by a group of film enthusiasts who kept the cinema going for many years, and the Purbeck Film Festival hired the venue from them each year to put on a programme of films.

The Festival continued to grow, and in 2009 The Purbeck Film Charitable Trust raised the funds, with overwhelming support from the local community, grants, donations and fundraising, to buy the Rex Cinema when it went up for sale. In April 2009 the Trust became the proud owners of a not for profit cinema as well as a film festival. Both concerns now run separately but remain at the heart of the Purbeck Community. The festival is honoured to assist in retaining the cinema’s heritage as it continues to be one of the organisation’s central venues.

We look forward to celebrating the Purbeck Film Festival’s Silver Anniversary with you next year!

The photo is of Lady Cotton, Purbeck Film Festival’s President (right) and Andrea Etherington, Festival Chair (left).


Purbeck Film Festival Trailers

Each year we are proud to present a new Purbeck Film Festival trailer and are grateful to Liam O’Hara for producing our contemporary trailer, and to Keith Lawes for producing our famous ‘flying ferry’ trailer, both of which you can see here.

Q&A with Director of Priest of Love

Christopher Miles (right), Dame Janet Suzman (left) and Andrea Etherington, Festival Chair (centre)


Andrea Etherington (Chair)

Julie Sharman (Festival Manager)

Woody Harding, Peter Handy, Dave Matoe, Debbie Handy, Paul Taylor, Claire Burns,
Lorie Harding,Rob Dartnall, Lynn Lennox, John Hooker, Peter Groome.

Thanks to David Holman, and to Robin Whitecross for design.


Please note – we may need to forward your details to venue(s) to secure places. Purbeck Film Festival is a Data Controller with the Information Commissioner – No. PZ9173783. We shall not pass your details on to any other parties.