Mike McFarnell is a familiar sight around Dover with his video camera and tripod but many may not realise that Mike has been taking the footage of the life and times of his town since 2003 as well as running the popular Dover Film Festival. The Festival has been allowing Dovorians a peek into the past since 1971 through the films of Ray Warner. Mr. Warner had the inspiration to begin a film chronicle of life in Dover in 1946. His films capture all aspects of life in the town and reflect changes in styles and attitudes, as well as celebrating the unchanging aspects of this historic town. On Mr. Warner’s death, the archive was bequeathed to the Dover Museum and Mike McFarnell began filming where Mr. Warner left off. The films and stills are a priceless resource and of great benefit to local educators and students, as well as providing an entertaining and fascinating link with the past. The Film Festival ensures that these films are regularly available to a wide audience and the next Festival promises to reach a greater number still. Historically held in Dover Town Hall, the 2016 festival will take place in the newly renovated digitised Silver Screen Cinema on Gaol Lane. With 13 shows lasting 2 hours over five days, the change of venue will give more people more opportunities to attend. Thanks to a new state of the art camera and cutting edge training, viewers will be treated to an even more spectacular glimpse into Dover’s day to day throughout the decades in Mike’s latest film (Dover in 2015) to be screened during the Festival.
Dover Film Festival, 7-13 March 2016, Silver Screen Cinema, Gaol Lane, Dover