Escape to the Overnight Film Festival, a new communal cinema experience where your ticket includes accommodation at the legendary Queens Hotel in Eastbourne over the weekend of February 26, 27, 28.

Three special guest curators Ariane Labed, Emma Dabiri and Jenn Nkiru, will lead a programme of unique screenings, immersive discussions and sensational parties in a dreamy location by the sea.

Friday 26 February: Loves of a Blonde (1965)

Milos Forman’s rarely shown second feature is a sweet, funny, sad and open-hearted gem focusing on the romantic travails of a young female factory worker from rural Czechoslovakia.

Overnight Film Festival’s head of programming Isabel Moir says: “I first saw Loves of a Blonde as a student. I was really into 1960s European cinema, especially the women of the French New Wave, and a friend suggested this Czech film from the same period. I fell in love with everything about it! The song in the opening credits, the depiction of youthful friendship, the all-female world that the girls have created for themselves while longing for any male presence. I love the main character – she’s so charming – and I completely identify with her infatuation. It’s the perfect tragicomedy! Also the fact that they’re away from a major city fits with our festival setting. I grew up in Eastbourne and screening one of my favourite films in my home town is going to be really special.”

Sunday 28 February: Wildwood, NJ (1994)

Sunday morning’s selection will be the first ever UK screening of cult ’90s documentary Wildwood, NJ. Head of programming and Eastbourne native Isabel Moir explains…

“In 1994, filmmakers Ruth Leitman and Carol Weaks Cassidy strolled along the boardwalks of Jersey Shore’s prime summer spot Wildwood. They ended up meeting a mix of young, vibrant and opinionated women, and listened to what they had to say about their lives, female friendship, love, sex and summer in New Jersey. I think the themes discussed are universal to all teenage girls, and since I grew up in a seaside town I felt an instant connection to the memories that can be created over a single summer.

“Little did the filmmakers know that Wildwood, NJ would soon have a rebirth after artists inspired by the film tried to recreate the Nineties nostalgia it brilliantly captures. I had the privilege to speak with Ruth Leitman about how she feels about her work being reappropriated by other artists:

“When we made Wildwood, NJ in 1994, the film had the life we’d planned for it, enthusiastic audiences at festivals and the like. We could never have imagined or planned the second life that a general internet public would have for the film changing the narrative of its exposure and even the story itself. When clips were posted on the web in 2009, fashion designers, bloggers, musicians and fans of the NJ vernacular appropriated parts of the film. People insert their own narrative using the film to create more interactive connection to the history of the people and the place. For me as a filmmaker, it is a phenomenon that I am witnessing with my work rather than controlling. It’s way beyond us at this point, which is exciting, but not without some concern (like with Lana Del Ray’s ‘Diet Mountain Dew’ video).”

How the screenings will work

The hotel’s splendid ballroom will be converted into a bespoke cinema equipped with 35mm, 16mm and digital projection capabilities. There will be nine film screenings spread over the weekend: one on Friday night, four on Saturday and four on Sunday. There will also of course be parties every night, so bring your dancing shoes.

On Saturday and Sunday they’ll be a break at lunch time and supper for you to head out of the hotel and explore Eastbourne.

Sleepover tickets

Double room – £190 (£95 per person, includes accommodation for Friday and Saturday plus breakfast on Saturday and Sunday plus all 9 screenings and all parties)

Twin room – £190 (£95 per person, includes accommodation for Friday and Saturday plus breakfast on Saturday and Sunday plus all 9 screenings and all parties)

Single room – £100 (limited availability, includes accommodation for Friday and Saturday plus breakfast on Saturday and Sunday plus all 9 screenings and all parties)

Non-sleepover weekend tickets

£40 (includes all the screenings and parties, but no accommodation or breakfast)

Non-sleepover day passes

Friday – £10 (one screening and party)
Saturday – £20 (four screenings and party)
Sunday – £20 (four screenings and party)