A collaboration between one of Cumbria’s leading independent cinemas and the home of the poet William Wordsworth will bring a new film festival to the Lake District next month.

The Inward Eye festival will be staged at Zeffirellis in Ambleside, with a series of 26 feature films – shorts, new releases and classic movies to be shown over a long weekend.

The festival has been organised by Zeffirellis managing director Dorothy Smith along with film producer Charlotte Wontner of Hopscotch films, who is a member of the Wordsworth family – owners of Rydal Mount.

The idea came originally from the actor Brian Cox, who visited Rydal Mount three years ago when his film The Carer, produced by Wontner, was given a special screening at Zeffirellis. 
Cox was so impressed with the award-winning cinema that he offered to be patron of a festival there.

The festival’s title comes from a line in Wordsworth’s most famous poem Daffodils (They flash upon that inward eye).

“The daffodils are nowhere to be seen at this time of the year but their presence is always with us thanks to Wordsworth, and we wanted to reflect this in our festival,” said Ms Smith. 

“With a nod towards the local artistry of Wordsworth’s works, Inward Eye’s carefully selected films will cover themes of love and war, youth and fear and time and landscape.”

While some of the films have a nature theme or local location, the festival is aiming to attract a wide audience with an eclectic range of titles.

They range from Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet to the Syrian war drama For Sama, and includes the cult favourite Withnail and I, which was premiered at Zeffirellis when it was released back in 1987.