Tour inspires a feast of films

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A celebration of cycling as seen on the big screen is to be staged by Sheffield University as part of preparations for the Tour de France’s summer arrival in the city.

The two-day weekend Tour de Cinema on March 29 and 30 will include rare showings of classic movies and documentaries at Firth Court and at the students’ union.

The programme will include Bradley Wiggins – A Year in Yellow, Louis Malle’s Vive le Tour, and Yorkshire playwright Alan Bennett’s rarely-seen 1972 BBC film A Day Out.

A Day Out – Bennett’s first play – is set in the Edwardian era and features a Yorkshire cycling club on a summer day out.

Vive le Tour is a 1962 French documentary by filmmaker Louis Malle which goes behind the scenes, looking at issues such as injuries and doping.

The project has been put together with help from Sheffield Doc/Fest and the Students’ Union Film Unit, and is part of the official 100-day countdown to the Grand Depart in early July.

The Tour de Cinema is one of seven projects commissioned by Welcome to Yorkshire as part of its Yorkshire Festival – a major arts event created to precede the race.

The university’s Professor Vanessa Toulmin said: “This is a great opportunity to showcase both the fantastic facilities we have in the students’ union and to embed our work in the community, by celebrating the Tour de France coming through Sheffield.”

Students’ Union president Alasdair Buckle added: “Sheffield University and Doc/Fest’s collaborative creation of Tour de Cinema will be a fantastic side show to the Tour de France as it snakes its way through the city.

“The fact that our student-led cinema Film Unit will be part of this celebration is brilliant, allowing students to gain valuable experience.

“It will be great to see a mixture of students, staff and locals coming together to enjoy both events.”

During the Tour de Cinema, audiences will be treated to indoor and outdoor screenings of cycling movies and treasures from the British Film Institute at a range of venues across Yorkshire.

Charlie Phillips, deputy director of Sheffield Doc/Fest, said: “We’re delighted that cinema will be a part of the Yorkshire Festival through Tour de Cinema, showing some of the best old and new films about cycling and Yorkshire life.

“The university is a key partner for us in the Tour de Cinema, just as it is a key partner in many of our year-round activities locally, nationally and internationally.

“These screenings are part of a wider partnership, connecting world-class research at the university with the UK’s major documentary organisation. The two organisations are showcasing and discussing film that connects deeply with audiences.”