A SCREENING of a silent movie classic with a live band will feature in this year’s WItney Film Festival.

The five-day festival, which starts on Monday, will include a screening of 1925 silent film The Phantom of the Opera with music by silent film specialists Minima.

It will also include a screening of 2013 period drama Belle starring former Henry Box School pupil Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

Second year students at Abingdon and Witney College and SAE Institute Oxford will screen short films produced as part of their course.

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Alun Hadlow, media technician and lecturer at the college’s Witney campus, said: “It’s a really good opportunity for people outside the course to see what they produce.

“It’s always nice for them to get feedback and exposure outside of the college and it’s also a good opportunity for people to see what we do.

“It’s the first showing they’ve had open to the public so it’s quite exciting for them. We have a YouTube channel but I don’t think that really gets noticed by the local community so it’s a great way to get their work out there.”

Bampton resident Jenny Learney, 27, founded the festival in 2009 to help film student friend Daniel Newton get his short movie publicly screened.

The first one-day event was held at the currently closed Corn Exchange, in Market Square, with an audience of 160 people and 15 short films.

It has grown each year, expanding to five nights for the first time last year.

This year’s event runs until Friday next week in different venues throughout the town and will feature more than 25 films.

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