Great films and good times as festival comes to city

The deck chairs were out and the smells of fine food were in the air at a unique outdoor cinema experience.

Dani Bishton, Iesha Bishton, Alanna Bishton, nine, and Sharna Bishton prepare for the big day with a range of goodies
Dani Bishton, Iesha Bishton, Alanna Bishton, nine, and Sharna Bishton prepare for the big day with a range of goodies

The four-day Film & Food Fest has been offering people across Wolverhampton and the wider area a chance to come to Bantock Park and enjoy a day out watching a film and tasting top quality street food and drink.

Film lovers and families were coming through the gates throughout the festival, which started on Thursday, and will conclude on Sunday, to watch films such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Pretty Woman and The Goonies on deck chairs in front of a big screen.

Set in a large area of the city centre park, those attending were able to walk from the film area to the food and drink section, where they could enjoy donuts, pizza, fries with pulled pork and a selection of craft beers.

For those attending, the festival was an opportunity to get out and enjoy the sunshine in a beautiful setting.

Danielle Bishton was at the festival with her boyfriend Dan Potter and daughter Iesha for a birthday celebration, and the 46-year-old from Finchfield said it was better than she had expected.

She said: "My daughter bought the tickets for this event, so we're having a big family celebration here.

"I think it's amazing and way better than what I thought it would be and I think it's definitely something they should do again."

Jacob Kamara, 16, Donna Asiimwe, and Jesse Ayebazibwe, 10, get comfortable before the start of Sonic the Hedgehog
Hannah Burke, five, and Jessica Burke, eight enjoy a pizza and fries at the festival
The big screen at Bantock Park for the Film and Food Fest
Iesha Bishton, and Danielle Bishton show off some of the food and drink on offer
Claire Burnett said she was delighted to be part of the event with her business Donut Box

For 27-year-old Iesha, the setting of the festival and how it looked was really impressive.

She said: "It's met our expectations as it's got a lovely set-up, great food and drink and we've even got great weather for it.

"I'm really impressed with this set-up and I'm hoping we can have a few laughs today."

Kate Burke from Sutton Coldfield had brought her two daughters Jessica and Hannah to enjoy a day out and the 40-year-old said the idea of the festival was a good one.

She said: "I think it's brilliant for the setting it's in and the facilities on offer, so I think it really covers all the bases.

"It's just good to be able to get out in the fresh air and have a bit of freedom after being cooped up in the house for so long, so it's all a good idea."

Donut Box owner Claire Burnett said she was excited to be there to promote her business and said it was the atmosphere that made the festival work.

She said: "There's a real family atmosphere here, with families and children coming out after the worst of Covid.

"The cinema is a really good idea as it helps to bring children out to experience different foods and films and I think the park is a lovely setting as well."

The four-day festival at Bantock Park is the penultimate stop on a 15-city tour of the country by Food and Film Festival, and event manager Jon O'Neill said the location had been a big factor in bringing it to Wolverhampton.

He said: "It's just such a lovely venue and we've worked closely with the local council, who have been so hospitable to us, and everyone has just really enjoyed themselves.

"We'd like to be able to come back as well as I think this version of outdoor cinema works through the big screen and the food and drink on offer and I think people like to come and savour the atmosphere as well.

Sunday's showings include The Goonies and The Invisible Man, plus live comedy. Learn more at filmandfoodfest.com/locations/wolverhampton.

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