BRIGHTON’S answer to Cannes begins next week.

The 17th edition of Cinecity, the Brighton Film Festival, will feature early screenings, Q&As with directors, live performances of new film scores and material from the archives to independent venues across the city and Lewes.

It will give audiences “first sight of highly anticipated films ahead of UK release” at venues such as The Duke Of York’s Picture House and Komedia in Brighton, The Old Market in Hove and The Depot in Lewes.

Cinecity, the largest film festival in the South East, is also putting an emphasis on debuts, with half the programme comprising first features from new directors such as Eva Riley’s Brighton-based debut Perfect 10.

Audiences are given the chance to rate each feature film, with the coveted Audience Award going to the film with the highest rating at the festival’s conclusion. Previous winners include Sean Penn’s Milk and 2012 Best Picture Oscar winner The Artist.

Cinecity opens on Friday, November 8, with a preview screening of The Lighthouse more than two months before its UK release date – and a second screening has been added due to demand.

It stars Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe.

Last year’s opener The Favourite went on to receive critical acclaim.

The festival closes on November 17 with a similarly early screening of Jojo Rabbit from Thor: Ragnorak director Taika Waiti.

It depicts a young German boy in the final throes of the Second World War who has an idiotic Adolf Hitler for an imaginary friend.

A selection of short dramas and documentaries made by Brighton and Sussex-based film-makers will be featured in the festival.

The selection includes Flying Lessons, in which “a young man turns into a seagull every time he feels panic”, and Andrew Finch’s Landscapes of the Heart, “a love letter to this city’s radical history”.

The Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts at Sussex University will feature a screening of A Dog Called Money. It documents the creation of The Hope Six Demolition Project, the ninth album from Mercury award winner and former partner of Brighton’s Nick Cave, PJ Harvey.