A Celluloid Celebration Of John Lennon's 70th Birthday

John Lennon loved movies. It was in a Liverpool cinema that he first encountered Elvis Presley. John was 15 and in the balcony. Elvis was 21 and on the screen. It led to John taking up music as his rock 'n' roll ticket-to-ride out of the nowhere that was post-war Liverpool. One year later he was playing live to 400 villagers at a church garden party when he met Paul McCartney - the Big Bang that led to the Beatles. And exactly 10 years after that, he and Paul (together with George and Ringo) were playing live to 400 MILLION members of the global village as they performed "All You Need Is Love" to the planet that now belonged to the Fab Four.

No scriptwriter would have dared to write such an implausible scenario. Yet it all happened in what Derek Taylor rightly described as the 20th Century's Greatest Romance.

This festival celebrates the 70th anniversary of John Lennon's birth with a rich mixture of features and documentaries that capture the insouciant charm, biting wit and inspiring music that has endeared Lennon to every generation to encounter his unique genius.

And under it all, the films also show the emotional scars and pain that he channeled into his music and activism.

From the exuberant lightning-caught-in-a-bottle of WHAT'S HAPPENING! to the giddy pop-art of HELP!... From the insightful IMAGINE to the heart-breaking mind games played on him revealed in the US vs JOHN LENNON - his fearless honesty and passion shine like a beacon. TWO OF US poignantly captures the last time that John and Paul met. Our L.A. Premiere of NOWHERE BOY portrays their first meeting, the evolution of the Beatles and the entire backdrop of his complex childhood in a way that helps us the audience 'understand the little child inside the man'.

And we're truly blessed to have his original band-mates the Quarrymen performing a full concert on opening night (after Nowhere Boy) to celebrate what we guarantee will be a Lennon (and splendid) time for all.

Festival produced & hosted by Martin Lewis. Assisted by Grant Moniger.

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