There are a few themes running through our 2014/2015 Film Season. The Vietnam War links The Sapphires with The Company You Keep. The Second World War is the focus of Rome, Open City, The Book Thief and The Wind Rises. It is the dark shadow behind The Grand Budapest Hotel. An anonymous conflict zone is the backdrop for The Patience Stone. Oddly there is little violence on screen in any of these films. You will find more gore in Of Horses and Men, a tale of man and beast from Icelandic director Benedikt Erlingsson.

Locke and Nebraska can both be loosely termed road movies. The Invisible Woman, The Lunchbox and The Patience Stone all explore the underside of the societies in which they are set, while Calvary is a searing black comedy of Irish Catholic manners, a mixture of Tarantino and Father Ted.

Wadjda here contrasts with The Wind Rises. It is the first feature film to emerge from Saudi Arabia. The Wind Rises will be its Japanese Director Miyazaki’s last feature film (allegedly).

Three of our screenings are in black and white. Rome, Open City is a classic with enormous screen presence and impact. Nebraska is a modern monochromatic film. The old silent films are products of their time. Each contrasts with the visual vibrancy of The Lunchbox and The Invisible Woman.

We have two special events this Season. Our past Chairman, Tim Edmunds, will present extracts from his documentary work and let us into a few film trade secrets. Musical Director and Composer, Malcolm Riley will recreate the past, by accompanying silent film. We are delighted to welcome both visitors.

This 2014/2015 Season spans the Cranbrook Film Society’s thirtieth year. Do look at our ‘Archived films’. You can see how we have developed and how our audiences have responded to the films shown over all these years.

The Sapphires (PG)

Hugely entertaining and loosely accurate history of an Aboriginal girl band set in the 1960’s. This soul band sparkles against glorious sunshine in Australia and…

The Invisible Woman (12A)

A sumptuous study of the underside of Victorian society, beautifully shot and superbly acted, detailing the effects on a young actress of an illicit affair…

Make Your Own Film – Special Event

Do you have a smartphone or a video camera? – then you can, undoubtedly, make your own film. Tim Edmunds, two time BAFTA winner, will…

Wadjda (PG)

This film is quirky and witty, with serious cultural undertones. Its charm rests largely with its leading child actress, Waad Mohammed. It is the first…

Locke (15)

It ought to be as dull as watching paint, or in this case concrete, dry – one man on screen for eighty-five minutes, talking into…

Nebraska (15)

Part classic road movie, part Canterbury Tale, with a touch of King Lear. This film is slow paced, mesmerizing, sometimes very funny. A son tries…

The Patience Stone (15)

Outstanding central performance from Iranian Golshifteh Farahani in a moving drama about a woman confiding in her injured and unresponsive husband in a ruined war…

The Grand Budapest Hotel (15)

This film is like a fabulous dolls’ house or crazy indulgent pâtisserie confection. Set in wartime in an imaginary Eastern European state, it is idiosyncratic,…

The Company You Keep (15)

A thriller about the afterlife of those involved in the 1970’s Vietnam War protests where Redford, playing his true age for once, is a former…

Of Horses and Men (15)

A saga of wry, fantastical and sometimes shocking stories celebrating a remote Icelandic community, its people and their horses. “It’s not every film that really…

The Book Thief (12a)

A Brothers Grimm tale of a beautiful child in wartime Germany that works as a fable for young children. Well acted and nearly faultless technically.…

The Lunchbox (PG)

Moving between Mumbai’s middle class suburbs and its teeming city centre, this intelligent and charming drama/romance depicts the consequences of a wrongly delivered lunchbox for…

Calvary (15)

Brendan Gleeson is a sensation as the flawed hero of this moving and powerful Irish drama. The film is dark and fatalistic, but tinged with…

Like Father, Like Son (PG)

Hirokazu Koreeda | Japan| 2014 | 120 mins | PG Film notes: ‘Like Father, Like Son‘ by Hirozaku Koreeda is a contemplative, intelligent and refined…

Malcolm Riley & Silent Films – Special Event

This season spans our 30th year. To celebrate this we are delighted to invite Malcolm Riley to accompany a selection of short silent films. Malcolm…

Rome, Open City (12a)

A classic, filmed in Rome in 1946, it is a story of human relationships, loyalty and pragmatism, with Father Don Pietro as its moral core.…

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 2014/2015 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
    Nicole Rodgers, CFS Membership Secretary, Scotney, Bakers Cross, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3JW
  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 Nicole on 01580720720; 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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