KESWICK Film Festival director, Ian Payne, says the stars have aligned beautifully for the 20th gathering with major figures within the industry having new films out on release, providing some headline performances over the festival weekend.

Running from February 28 until March 3, Mads Mikkelsen, Bill Nighy, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Florence Pugh, Kristen Stewart, Viggo Mortensen and even Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson will be on the big screen.

This year's gala screening on Saturday, March 2, will be Sometimes Always Never, which stars Bill Nighy alongside Jenny Agutter, Sam Riley and Alexei Sayle. Director Carl Hunter will be at the festival, along with a cast member, to introduce the film which was written by one of the UK's finest scriptwriters, Frank Cottrell Boyce.

Another British film kicks off Saturday’s entertainment - Fighting with My Family, a comedy written and directed by Stephen Merchant, the long-time collaborator of Ricky Gervais. It stars Florence Pugh as a would-be wrestler in a role a million miles away from The Little Drummer Girl.

The opening and closing films couldn't be more different: on Friday, February 28, proceedings open with Jellyfish, an award-winning British film about 15 year-old Sarah who must balance school, caring for her invalid mother as well as a part-time job. She also has a talent for stand-up comedy.

Concluding the festival will be Green Book, a powerful film set in the southern states of the US in the 1960s with Viggo Mortensen who plays an Italian-American bouncer hired to drive a renowned African-American pianist across the country for a series of concerts.

Ian said they had put together a fantastic weekend of film that will appeal to a broad audience and films from Kenya, Chile, Spain, Italy and China add spice to the festival. He added: "It is a fitting way to celebrate 20 years of the Keswick Film Festival."

For full details of the festival programme go online at