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Lord of the Rings star Bernard Hill among stars who will judge this year’s Norwich Film Festival

Bernard Hill in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, as King Theoden, ruler of the human kingdom of Rohan.

Bernard Hill in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, as King Theoden, ruler of the human kingdom of Rohan.


He’s one of our most loved actors, best known for his role in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

But now Manchester-born actor Bernard Hill – famous for playing King Theoden in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, as well as Captain Edward James Smith in Titanic – has been named as the honorary artistic director for the second Norwich Film Festival, and will help to choose its winning short films.

This year’s festival starts on the weekend of Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31, when the best short films submitted to the festival will be shown at Hollywood Cinema, near Anglia Square. About 10 to 15 films will be screened each night, including the winner of each category.

Then, on Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7, the festival will move to the Curve digital theatre at the Forum to screen the short films that were nominated for this year’s BAFTA Short Film and BAFTA Short Animation awards, as well as a question and answer session with filmmakers afterwards.

Norwich Film Festival director Kellen Playford is hoping to provide an entertaining festival for film enthusiasts.

He said: “This year we have had hundreds of films submitted to us, from 27 countries around the world – from the UK and USA, to India and South Korea.

“In total, we will be screening 30 short films across two nights at the Hollywood Cinema.

“On top of those, we will also be screening selected entries from our first ever One Minute Movie competition, in which film makers were challenged to make the best film possible in just 60 seconds.”

Alongside Mr Hill in the celebrity judging panel will be festival patron Tim McInnerny, best known as Lord Percy from Blackadder or from films such as Notting Hill and Johnny English Reborn.

There will also be Steve Furst, best known as comedian Lenny Beige, from TV shows such as Little Britain, and Jim Field Smith, British director of short films, as well as the Hollywood features She’s Out Of My League and the soon to be released Butter.

All the films will be divided into four categories – short, animation, student and documentary – with several from each being shortlisted to win each award.

The judging panel will then narrow the field even further to pick a winner in each category, as well as a film which will be crowned Best in Festival.

For more details about the festival go to or search for the event on Facebook.

Are you organising an event in Norwich? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or

To find out what’s going on in and around Norwich, go to our website at

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