We welcome you to join us for our thirtieth season. We have scoured the world to find films we hope you enjoy, films you may not have seen before, or could not imagine you even wanted to see. In one case we have chosen a film; 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, we assume you have seen, but have probably not seen on the big screen in its digitally re-mastered version.

Common themes link this season’s films. PRIDE and SELMA are essentially protest movements – the first is funny, the second is heartbreaking and inspiring. WHIPLASH and ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL are films you might well avoid on reading their synopses. You are in for an engaging surprise with both of them. THEEB, IDA and SLOW WEST, are coming of age films. THEEB links in well with the strong Middle Eastern theme we had last season. IDA is short, visually stunning, and thoughtful. SLOW WEST is a bizarre and funny parody of a Western directed by a Scotsman and filmed in New Zealand. Talking of parodies, ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL, features parodies of cult films within it, so there is another link.

Although many of this season’s films record journeys of sorts, THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY and 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY are literal and contrasting journeys. THE SALT OF THE EARTH follows a more personal journey, a man’s biography, that leads us to witness some events and times we neither wish to see nor remember. At times it is unremittingly harrowing, at others indescribably beautiful and revealing. The balance is in favour of gorgeous images of nature and of man’s labours. The impact of the still photographs showing famine and despair are so great it is easy to think of them as far more than a fragment of the whole film.

Lovers of still photography are in for further treat this season with our selection FINDING VIVIAN MAIER. The very fact that we have included two documentaries of world-class photographers is testament to their strength and interest.

We briefly explore Ireland in the 1950s and in 1971 in BROOKLYN and ‘71. BROOKLYN is the tale of an Irish girl who makes a life for herself in New York, then returns home and makes a second life. ‘71 is based on the troubles, but do not let that put you off watching it. It is predominantly a thriller, a genre we have rarely shown in the Film Society.

Our French film selection, DEUX JOURS, UNE NUIT is charming and refreshing. Where we can, we show a French film, and this one is particularly good.

We have left the oddest, exhilarating, and weird film until last in this short review of our season. WILD TALES will take you on a roller coaster of emotions, sometimes almost sickening, but mostly with amusement and disbelief. The final tale is particularly wonderful, crazy, and wild.

This is an eclectic mix of films. We hope you find at least one that exceeds your expectations and that our selection takes you out of your comfort zone in the pleasantest of ways. Enjoy the fifteen Wednesday screening nights with us.

There is a practical point we need to make. We are working with the school to improve the quality of the sound in the hall, and the projected images. The sound is tailored to the theatre rather than the cinema at present. The problems have increased because modern actors often have poor diction, or are directed in such a way that their dialogue is indistinct, lost in background noise, or well nigh impossible to lip-read. We are aware that some of our members may find it difficult to follow films and since we cannot yet offer them a reliable hearing aid loop system, we will add subtitles to films where necessary. Some members dislike these subtitles. We can only apologize and ask you to bear with us for now.

Please browse our film archives. Click here to access them (FILM ARCHIVES). They are a fascinating resource and record the history of our club.

Pride (15)

Based on a true story set against the backdrop of the 1984 Miners’ Strike, this quirky, warm hearted film has comedy with a real edge…

Deux jours, une nuit (15)

Powerful social drama with Marion Cotillard as an emotionally frail Sandra who has just 48 hours to persuade her many colleagues to save her from…

Finding Vivian Maier (12a)

The chance discovery of a secret hoard of photographs sets documentary film-maker John Maloof off on the trail of an intensely private nanny, now seen…

Ida (12a)

Poland 1962 – Anna, abandoned in a convent as a child, is due to take her final vows. Before she does, her mother superior orders…

Selma (12a)

A powerful examination of one of the key moments of the Civil Rights Movement: the three month period in 1965. The epic march from Selma…

Whiplash (15)

J.K Simmons and newcomer Miles Teller are outstanding in this gripping story of a gifted young jazz musician and his maverick teacher who will go…

’71 (15)

A survival thriller set in Belfast in 1971. One of the UK’s hottest new acting talents, Jack O’Connell, stars as a soldier caught behind enemy…

Wild Tales (15)

Wild Tales is extraordinary. Writer and director, Damián Szifron, presents various tales of revenge and retribution, each rich with mordant black humour. The film is…

Slow West (15)

This is a surreal Western thriller, set in Colorado in 1870. It was directed by a Scot and was filmed in New Zealand. A naive…

The Salt of the Earth (12a)

A film about the life’s work of Sebastiao Salgado a Brazilian photographer whose career led him away from his home to over 100 countries, towards…

Theeb (15)

Set in Western Arabia in 1916 the traditional life of Bedouin guides is interrupted by a British soldier who asks to be guided to a…

2001: A Space Odyssey (U)

We asked our previous chairmen to recommend a film for this season. Tim Edmund’s idea was to choose a classic film we may not have…

Brooklyn (PG)

Brooklyn is the story of a young Irish immigrant girl’s move to New York in the 1950s. Her journey, and the choices she faces, all…

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (12a)

A touching and unsentimental comedy drama set in an American high school. Its strength lies in its uncommon insight into teenage humour. The young actors…

The Hundred-Foot Journey (PG)

Dishes out a mostly tasteful blend of comedy and drama with a dash of poignancy. The Kadam family arrive in rural France. Their pig-headed patriarch…

About & Venue

We are an award winning film society
showcasing the best of film to the residents of Cranbrook and its local communities.

Early in 1984, The Regal Cinema, Cranbrook closed its doors for the last time after showing (presciently) ‘Never Say Never Again’, with Sean Connery (as Bond) and Kim Basinger. For almost a year cinema-goers in Cranbrook (and district) had to make a half-hour journey to Tunbridge Wells, Maidstone or Hastings to find a screen.

But all was not lost. Dr Nick Vinall, newly appointed Head of Science at Cranbrook School, launched the Cranbrook Film Society, offering five showings each year in the Lecture Theatre, with those bottom-moulding seats and the clatter of the 35mm projector. The timing was right: an eight-film season quickly became the norm and despite the physical discomfort the society flourished and soon had more than one hundred members.

In 1995 our audience moved to the Queen’s Hall Theatre. In due course, Nick Vinall, our founding father, passed on this growing legacy to Paul Stanford, whose creative energy and ambition for the Society in turn were amply acknowledged when we scooped the Best Film Society award at the British Federation of Film Societies (BFFS) awards ceremony in March 2005.

A hard act to follow? Fortunately for us we were able to inveigle Tim Edmunds into the director’s chair. As a former BAFTA winner and a serving BAFTA judge, Tim increased our productivity: ten showings per season became fifteen, and the eye-opening interviews he hosted with skilled practitioners from the film world really widened our cinematic horizons.

And for the future? New programmes and a new team in charge of the reels. We have recruited Helen Hawken, also a BAFTA winner, and Angela Dunmore as our new Co-chairs. They have introduced this new website and a fresh brochure design.
This season’s play-list looks varied and attractive. We hope you’ll be there with us.

All our films are shown in the Queen’s Hall Theatre, Cranbrook School, Waterloo Road, Cranbrook, Kent. TN17 3JD.
Please do look at the theatre’s own website. There you can find details of disabled access, parking, the theatre itself and forthcoming events. There is a great tradition of performing arts in the town. Do look up the Cranbrook Choral Society, the Cranbrook Operatic and Dramatic Society and Tido; a community singing group. Cranbrook School has its own productions in the Queen’s Hall.
Last year the British Film Institute launched its Film Hub South East.  Its mission is “to expand audience access to and knowledge of specialised and British Independent film in the South East“.  It is a terrific resource if you are looking for local film societies.
Screening Times
Doors open at 7.30 pm.  This gives you time to sign in, to collect your voting slip and to socialize.  The Committee members try to make themselves conspicuous and approachable and enjoy talking film with anyone.  We are fortunate in that the theatre foyer is large and has a licensed bar.  There is plenty of room in which to mingle.  Events start at 8.00 pm.
There is ample parking in Barham Drive, in the staff car park at the front of the school and in the various free car parks in the town. The main entrance to the theatre is in Barham Drive. The photographs show the entrance to Barham Drive, where to find the staff parking and the main entrance to the theatre.
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Cranbrook School
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Waterloo Road/Barham Drive
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Barham Drive entrance
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Cranbrook Film Society map

Members & Guests

Members pay £25 for the 2015/2016 Season. We are a members’ only club and memberships are not transferable. No one under sixteen may join our club or watch films with us. Sixth formers from Cranbrook School and the High Weald Academy are very welcome and are invited free of charge.
How to join – three alternatives
  1. Click here to complete an online membership application form.
  2. E-mail us at giving your name, address, telephone number and e-mail. Let us know if you do not want us to contact you by e-mail.
  3. Return the Membership Application Form. You will find this in our brochure.
How to pay – three alternatives
  1. BACS transfer to the Cranbrook Film Society through the National Westminster Bank: Sort Code – 600618, Account Number 30096871. Please give members’ names as the transaction reference so we can trace your payment.
  2. Cheque payable to “Cranbrook Film Society“.
    Send hard copy Membership Applications and cheques to
    Ruth Saunders, CFS Membership Secretary, 2 Bokes Farm Cottages, Horns Hill, Hawkhurst, Cranbrook. TN18 4XE
  3. *please note that making a payment is not enough – we also need a completed application form.

Members may bring up to two guests.  Each pays £5 a visit. You must book guests in advance so we do not exceed the hall’s capacity. Use the link “book your guest“, e-mail us at, or ring Ruth on 01580 755462.; allowing us at least two hours before the feature starts so we can process your message.
We appreciate your views. Do use this contact link, contact us. Choosing films each Season is rewarding, but hard work and we value members’ suggestions.

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