Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House

Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House – the original open-air cinema in central London – returns for a fortnight this August with its most star-studded season yet.  Each year, stars of the film world come to Somerset House to share the stories behind the season’s selection and 2018 is no different.  Alongside the main courtyard screenings, a series of incredible on-stage introductions, specially-curated DJ sets, panel discussions and interactive workshops offer the rare opportunity to get closer to those at the very centre of cinema.  No other outdoor cinema has the same access as Film4 Summer Screen to present its audiences with such exclusive experiences, making it one of the hottest tickets this summer.


Film4 Summer Screen is thrilled to announce that film royalty Michael Caine will come to Somerset

House and introduce INCEPTION, Christopher Nolan’s visually stunning dream-heist thriller.  Caine is considered to be Nolan’s “lucky charm”, having appeared in some capacity in each of his films since Batman Begins, and plays Stephen Miles, the mentor of Leonardo DiCaprio’s protagonist Dominick Cobb, in INCEPTION.

Producer Elizabeth Karlsen will celebrate the screening of CAROL by speaking about her ‘passion’ project on-stage.  As well as the story of forbidden love starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, Karlsen has also produced landmark successes such as Little Voice and Made in Dagenham and recent releases with Their Finest and On Chesil Beach.

Introductions already announced also include Hollywood icon Glenn Close and director Björn Runge

for the festival’s opening night film THE WIFE and award-winning director Bart Layton for the festival’s closing night film AMERICAN ANIMALS, which like his debut feature, The Imposter, takes on a jaw-dropping true crime story.  More special guests are expected throughout the season.


Behind the Screen with Grey Goose is a series of insightful talks from the brightest minds in film-making, which take place on selected evenings ahead of the courtyard event in Somerset House’s intimate Screening Room.

Delving deeper into the themes behind this year’s line-up, Behind the Screen will feature panel discussions and conversations from industry insiders, who are shaping the world of cinema today, by bringing inspirational stories and unconventional concepts to the screen.  This season’s stellar line-up includes leading producers, directors, writers and collectives, such director and writer of God’s Own Country Francis Lee, Stars Wars set decorator Stella Fox, BAFTA-nominated CAROL producer Elizabeth Karlsen, AMERICAN ANIMALS director Bart Layton, as well as creative collectives such as Bechdel Test Fest and Channel 4’s Random Acts.

To celebrate the 80th anniversary of Daphne Du Maurier’s novel REBECCA, writers Bidisha and Sophie Monks Kaufman muse on marriage and murder in writing by women ahead of Hitchcock’s cinematic reimagining to complete a sensational Sunday night of entertainment.

For a family day of fantasy at Somerset House, children and adults can unleash their imaginations to create dream-like figures through drawing and 3-D modelling with animator Lauren Orme before attending the screening of SLEEPING BEAUTY.

Closing the Behind the Screen series, Little White Lies present a live version of its Truth & Movies podcast with some very special guests.

This season, Behind the Screen has teamed up with GREY GOOSE. To complement this year’s celebration of ‘dreams, fantasies, nocturnes and reveries’ on screen, audiences attending talks can enjoy complimentary dream-themed cocktails, and extra special spaces reserved in the courtyard, as well as preview exclusive clips of GREY GOOSE OFF SCRIPT, an online content series hosted by Oscar-winning Jamie Foxx with guests such as Benicio del Toro and Chadwick Boseman.


Each evening as the sun sets (from 18.30 to 21.00), Film4 Summer Screen festivalgoers can soak up the atmosphere, as special guest DJs set the scene with the perfect soundtrack to the upcoming screening. Presenting an eclectic mix of musical genres, this year’s line-up features the likes of renowned backing singer Denise Johnson (20 FEET FROM STARDOM), Mercury nominated musician and composer Barry Adamson (BLUE VELVET), Worldwide FM’s Tina Edwards (THE WIFE), NTS’ Paul Camo (SELMA) and Soho Radio’s Iraina Mancini (LABYRINTH + THE WIZARD OF OZ).

Filmgoers who arrive early can also take full advantage of free film-inspired activity presented by bi-monthly film magazine Little White Lies (15 – 22 August) and short-film specialists (9 – 14 August), as part of the East Wing Edit, which opens late especially for Film4 Summer Screen ticket holders.  The pioneering industry collectives take up residency in Somerset House’s East Wing for the festival, offering a series of creative sessions, such as a make your own ‘zine on the life and times of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the final product of which will be handed out at the double-bill screening of TOTAL RECALL and A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET.



For one starry and spellbinding summer night, Somerset House is transformed into a Gothic dream-world with two poetic black & white masterpieces, both widely considered to be amongst the greatest fantasy films of all-time (as well as inescapable influences on this year’s multi-Oscar-winner The Shape of Water). Supported by an atmospheric and transporting pre-film set from the evening’s DJs Pye Audio Corner, audiences can dress in their best belle or beast outfits and escape into a world of fairy-tales, nightmares and romance, featuring special-effects created by genuine movie magic.  Film fans can discover what dreams used to look like – before digital took over – in this unique double-bill of ‘fantastic’ cinema that ends on the stroke of midnight.


New this year, Somerset House has commissioned a short film to be screened ahead of each evening’s feature film, setting the atmosphere for the fantastical stories ahead. Starring David Cann (Brass Eye), FOR SOOTH has been created by performance artist Mel Brimfield and filmmaker Ewan Jones Morris – both are artists in Somerset House Studios, the experimental workspace inside Somerset House, which encourages multi-disciplinary collaboration. FOR SOOTH temporarily transforms

Somerset House’s courtyard into an ancient ruined temple, housing the vast disembodied head of an Oracle. Casting the filmgoers as attendants from the four corners of the city to hear his Word, FOR SOOTH features elaborate psychedelic animated sequences, combined with live action, and centres on the virtuoso performance of a scripted monologue.


Film4 Summer Screen audiences are welcome to bring along snacks for screenings, though to make it an extra special experience, handcrafted hampers from Bryn Williams – Somerset House’s new restaurant – can be ordered and ready on arrival. They feature a feast of picnic favourites from Loch Fyne Smoked Salmon platters with soda bread and pear chutney, Ham, pea and mint tarts, Rahut squash and quinoa salad, Truffle crisps, Strawberry and Chantilly cream and Macarons.  Fantastic hot food, from artisan sourdough pizzas to showstopper nachos with homemade salsas, is also served up on site throughout the season, alongside tasty confectionary treats, a fully-stocked bar and a pop-up GREY GOOSE bar with specially crafted cocktails and refreshing vodka ice pops.

For the ultimate comfort experience, back-rests and blankets can be pre-ordered in advance and for those who want a seat, a limited number of seated tickets are available at the rear of the courtyard for all screenings.