Brighton Rocks film festival will arrive in the city later this month with organisers promising an exciting programme featuring a record-breaking number of entries from around the globe.

They include a film created by Kemptown MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle in which he talks about personal issues such as his HIV diagnosis.

The festival, now in its sixth year, opens on Tuesday, June 20, and runs over six days at Fabrica, The Actors, Alphabet (formally Rialto) and Duke’s at Komedia – providing a fascinating “cinema-crawl” around the city.

The big story of this year’s festival is the huge increase in films made in Brighton including several from students of Brighton’s Screen and Film School (SFS), whose ever-expanding programme now has a large film studio in Bevendean.

Officially partnering with Brighton Rocks, the school is sponsoring the Young Ace Filmmaker Award for directors under 30 making films in the Brighton area. The winning filmmaker in this category will be announced at the festival finale at the Duke's at Komedia in Gardner Street on Sunday, June 25.

College principal Itziar Leighton said: “We are very excited to be part of this wonderful festival and to support new and emerging filmmakers.

"We have been so impressed by some of the films produced and having an opportunity to provide encouragement and support to the next generation of filmmakers is our passion and purpose. I would encourage every eligible filmmaker under 30 to consider participating and have your voice and story heard.”

As in previous years, Brighton Rocks will screen films of varied genres, including comedy, drama, horror, experimental films and documentary, with films by the LGBTQIA+ community a core part of the curated programme.

One notable film - In His Own Words - has been created by Brighton MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle who talks candidly about his HIV diagnosis, activism and his testy relationship with the Labour Party.


Another local documentary - Just Add Water- is about the growing cold water sea swimming community in the South East.

The festival will showcase five feature-length films, with directors flying in from Toronto to present StartStop, a zany mockumentary about rock star criminals, and from Los Angeles to support The Nanny, a suspenseful psychological thriller.

Sunday’s special feature Finally Nearly Getting There is a road trip drama by Brighton-based director James Card. 

Several actors including Paul McGann, Peter Andre, Toyah Willcox and Justin Edwards also feature in selected films.

Almost 1,000 films were entered for this year's festival and some 150 selected to be included.

Festival director Dr James Rowlins said: "We are extremely excited for this year's festival which will showcase film-making from exciting teams from around the world.

"But our ethos remains the same – supporting films that take on ideas outside of the mainstream made by any means possible."

The festival kicks off on June 20 at Fabrica in Duke Street with acclaimed Brighton-based music video director and film maker Andrew "Wiz" Whiston opening it.

The event ends on June 25 at the Komedia with awards being presented by actor Hugh Ross and video director Tim Pope.