The film hub team’s latest adventure took us to the Malvern hills for a double bill of film festival fun at Borderlines.

The largest rural film festival in the UK, Borderlines takes place in 23 venues across 17 days in Herefordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire and the Marches. Showcasing 68 films with a whopping 29 previews, there was plenty to choose from!

We had the pleasure of checking out Studio One, the brand-new cinema space at the magnificent Malvern Theatres (a Borderlines partner venue since 2018). After a coffee and a catch-up with the delightful programming team we settled in for the first screening of the day, Shadya, followed by a quick comfort break and leg stretch before heading back in for Evil Does Not Exist. Here’s what we thought…

Amy’s review

Shayda tells a nuanced and meaningful story of an Iranian immigrant woman raising her six-year-old daughter in a shelter for domestic violence survivors in an unnamed Australian city. 

Even with such a tough subject matter, there were bursts of joy to be found in this first feature from Noora Niasari. The director and cast do a brilliant job of showing, in heart-wrenching detail, what coping with trauma looks like. All whilst managing to steer clear of woman-in-peril territory. A quiet film with a loud message. You can catch it in cinemas later this year.

Eirini’s review

Evil Does Not Exist, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s latest film after Drive My Car, follows Takumi and his young daughter Hana living deep in the forest in the beautiful Mizubiki Village close to Tokyo.

The film is slow and quiet with a serene and unsettling score and incredible landscapes. It is an ode to the community, as they all come together in a town meeting against an intrusive land development ‘Glamping’.

The town meeting was one of the best scenes in the film, a tense moment that reminds me of court scenes, listening to the villager’s arguments followed by silly lines from the talent agency employees such as ‘Thank you for your feedback’. I really enjoyed the film and would definitely like to see it again. You can watch this film from the 5th of April in cinemas.

The Borderlines team had set up a fun and interactive star rating system for the audience to rate each film. After casting our votes we rounded off the day with a quick stop at The Water Cure for a (naturally) film-themed drink. 5 star trip!

See you next year.

We're excited to continue supporting Malvern Cinema to flourish with their independent programme through the Film Exhibition Fund